Week One, days 4 &5
I had a really, really great weekend. Friday we went to Arlington and had dinner with my parents and sister and brother-in-law, and then Tony and I went out to Grapevine to help celebrate the birthday of a great friend. That meant I was a little hung over Saturday morning, but I was up and at ‘em for our first group session at 7 a.m. It’s hard to believe that just two years ago I showed up at this meeting having never run farther than a 5k and convinced that everyone else would know each other and be stand-offish and maybe even laugh and point at me.
Because it’s Joe’s last season, we have a huge team this year (we’re still looking for about 20 more people to make it to 100 – message me for details!) (And feel free to play Where’s Waldo with the picture below, which I shamelessly stole from Ian.)
All the alumni members meant I got to see a lot of old friends and acquaintances; it was so great to renew our connections. But I tried to make sure that new people were welcomed too. I still remember how it feels to question whether you really belong at any kind of athletic group, let alone one that’s about to run 13.1 or 26.2 miles. And even though I don’t (often) feel that I don’t belong there any more, I want to make sure no one else feels that way either. The truth of the matter is that distance running is mostly mental.
Don’t get me wrong – if you’re trying to win a marathon? There are a lot of physical considerations. But if you’re reasonably healthy, can stay uninjured, and just want to finish a race? Mostly mental. One of the great things about TNT is that you meet this group of coaches and people who have run races before and they all believe in you, and after a while you kind of start to believe in yourself. I’m so excited to see our new members finish their first race, and for our returning members to reach a new distance or speed goal. (I’m somewhat less excited about having agreed to go for 39.3 this season myself, but you can’t win them all.)
The rest of the weekend was seeing more friends, watching movies, reading books, and being happy that the multiple power outages didn’t last long enough to defrost the freezer. But honestly? That early, hung over Saturday morning was my most favorite part. And not just because it meant it was time to buy three new pairs of running shoes.
By the way, if you’re super attentive to detail, you may have noticed that my training days this season have gone from four to five days a week. In honor of my extra run, how about a $5 donation? http://pages.teamintraining.org/ntx/wdw15/estepp