L Street Running Club

This past Sunday, I finally bit the bullet and did something I have talked about at length for nearly six and a half years. I finally joined L Street Running Club. L Street, I am your newest member and I am beyond excited!!!

L Street Logo

I do have to admit that I didn’t just wake up one day and decide to try something new.  Adrienne gets all of the credit for finally getting me out on the pavement with the club. She has been telling me for over two years years to meet the wonderful people that are a part of the group. But somehow, there was always something stopping me.

So what was it?

First off, it was fear of trying something new. As an outgoing person I was always embarrassed that this was something I feared. The issue is that I had a less than awesome experience trying out a masters swim team where I didn’t know anyone, and that has forever tainted trying athletic social groups for me. Luckily, I had a buddy to lean on and an instant “in” to the group, so I really should not have been worried about this!

Secondly, it’s time. I have a very busy schedule, similarly to everyone else I know. I find myself frequently lean on the excuse, “Oh, I don’t have time for that”, well the truth is, I do. It was time for me to look at my schedule and make some adjustments to prioritize this higher in my laundry list of to do’s.

Ultimately, the straw that broke the camels back, was the loneliness I felt on some very cold long runs. I started to worry that my motivation would dip and I would slack on runs if I didn’t have structure of a group. So, I decided to get over my fears of trying new things, make time in my schedule and dive in head first. I knew that running with other accomplished and fast runners would help me run smarter and faster on race day. They could provide me advice, experience and best of all, laughs along the way.

Luckily, I chose the perfect weekend to join L Street on a long run. Forecast: High of 17 degrees with winds between 10-20 mph. If there was anytime I needed extra support, it was Sunday.

I woke up nervous and shaking because of the cold temperatures, could I do this? It was 8am and the temperature was holding a steady 11 degrees with winds reaching 20 mph. Yuck.

I nervously drove a mile over to the athletic club where we were starting from and quickly found Adrienne. After a few minutes of chatting and introductions to some of her oldest running friends we were off! This run marked the longest I have run since July of 2011 and it was also the coldest run I have ever been on in my entire life, so I was extremely thankful to have a huge pack of people for support.

We started out slowly, the wind and cold were nearly unbearable and I questioned my ability to run 15 miles in these conditions, but I soldiered onward. It was so awful out that afterward Adrienne and I both confessed to one another that during the first mile we considered running back and hitting the treadmill for 15 miles. But, we didn’t.

Mental fortitude of runners: 1, Mother nature: 0.

After the first 25-30 minutes I regained feeling in my ears, fingers and toes and all of a sudden, the miles and minutes seemed to melt away. There were water stops every three miles manned by fellow running club members who were volunteering that day and I welcomed their enthusiasm and fuel. The group of runners covering 15 miles that day were bursting with positive stories and were extremely kind to me, something I needed on such a challenging day.

Once we finished I had a smile on my face and hugged Adrienne. I am forever in debt that she stayed with me for the entire length of the run.

15 Miles, Total time: 2:14:02 

This was officially my longest, and coldest run of this training cycle. Boo yah! Afterwards we all congregated in Boston Athletic Club to refuel and chat about our runs, the room was packed with sweaty, happy runners.

L Street

I am already looking forward to joining the group for a 16.5 mile run through Boston next Sunday!

If you live in the Boston area and love to run, I highly recommend L Street Running Club. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or to make plans to join us! For more information, check out their website: lstreet.org.

Do you run with a running club? Did you have any fear or anxiety about joining something new?

Today’s Lesson: Running in the cold isn’t so bad, afterall.

I work in strange ways. Why? Because, when January 1st 2009 hit, my membership to the Boston Sports Club network was officially canceled. Yup. Me, the work out-aholic, quit the gym. My reasons are three fold. One, I really didn’t like the gym I was going to. I don’t know about you, but no one likes to feel like a caged rat. Secondly, I am finally getting my act together and joining the Cambridge Masters Swim Club, something I have talked about doing since the very moment I moved a box to my first Boston apartment in 2006. Lastly, I want to concentrate on getting back into yoga and of course keeping up with running, when the weather permits. 

The problem is, I haven’t taken any action on obtaining a membership to the swim team or my yoga studio due to my extreme lack of funds after the holiday season-whoops. A few days pass by and like clock work, cue cabin fever. One day at work, my antsy-ness reached an all time high and I knew I just had to go for a run, even if it killed me in the process. Of course the day I decide this, it is below freezing and an ice storm is looming in the not so distant future. A perfect example of the weather not permitting, but we were hell bent on running. Kate, the loyal running partner that she is, obliged and accepted my invitation. 

January 6th 2009

As we suited up in our work place locker room my mind was running a mile a minute, “what the heck am I doing?” Alas, I put on a happy face and took a photo to capture the sheer excitement, hope and fear we were exuding. Well, maybe the fear was just from me. 

The moment we stepped outside a cold burst of wind hit my face, “Crap. It’s COLD.” I couldn’t turn back now! As we got going, another thought crossed my mind, “you know what, I needed this to remind myself that I am alive.” I know, it sounds cliche, but it’s true. It felt amazing to stretch my legs, get the blood flowing and nod to other hardcore runners. The rest of the run consisted of an excessive amount of chatting and joking in-between labored breaths as well as the occasional tip toe through an icy path to prevent ourselves from falling victim to every New Englander’s nemesis, black ice. 

This run might not be particularly exciting or ground breaking for the common runner, but for me, it was the beginning of a beautiful relationship. One with my gloves, ear warmers and ultra thick spandex. That night I learned, running outside in the cold didn’t suck. It was actually pretty fun! And sometimes, during difficult times, it’s exactly what the doctor ordered to help you remember how to live.