On Saturday I ran with a friend from work who started running this summer. She is in fact the person who inspired my post last spring called Why and is it Really Worth It? At the time she wanted to know why anyone in their right mind would try to run 21.1 km, or indeed why anyone would want to run at all. She was at the stage I was a couple of years before that, you know that stage when you look at runners and think they have all lost their minds for putting themselves through such torture and then insisting that no, really, it is an enjoyable activity. Now though, my friend gets it, more than gets it…she is hooked. She has done her first zombie run and her first 5k. And you know a runner is addicted when they head out and buy winter running clothes!
So on Saturday I introduced N to those rolling paths on the Marshes Golf Course. As much as that route made me curse when doing it for a half marathon, it is the ideal training run to build up muscle and mental fortitude. We did a short flat run to the golf course, did 1k on the “flatter” part of the paths (flat being relative) and then headed to the more difficult portion to do a few k’s. N was awesome and approached all those curves and hills with determination. I couldn’t remember what was her farthest run to date. When I asked I couldn’t help but grin when she replied, “This one!” In the end we completed 7km, about 2k more than she had done previously. A record for her and I have to say such a fun run for me. Why? Because when you run with a newer runner you get to share their accomplishments and remember your own. I remember finally getting past that 5k mark. What a feeling! I was thrilled that first time, not to mention a little exhausted. The fact is that in running, no matter how far you go or how fast you become, the major milestones you have passed on the journey are never forgotten.
Some key memories for me:
– When I finally felt like I could run 3k comfortably, I am sure learning to run those first 3 km was the hardest!
– My first 5k race. Yes, I thought I would throw up at the end having pushed myself to my first sub 30 min 5km, but what a thrill!
– The first time I ran 12k; it was unplanned but I just felt so good I had to keep going. It was after that run I decided to do a half marathon (you know, what’s another 9km?!)
– The first 32k run, I think that one meant even more to me than when I did the 42 at the marathon
Running with a new runner brings back all of those memories and the amazing feelings that go with them. So at some point treat yourself, run with someone who has not run as much as you have. Yes you will be supporting another runner, but on a more selfish note you will also be doing something for yourself!