Run Camp


 It’s that time of year when nearly 1,000 people converge on my gym, filling the hallways, classrooms and restrooms, to spend the next few weeks honing their running skills, or for most, starting a brand new running career. They are young, old, fat, thin, male, female. Most are sporting a brand new kit of running gear from head to toe: bright neon jackets with Icebreaker wool shirts and gators sticking out at the neck; Lycra tights that still have their out of the box sheen, and pristine running shoes, with laces still lily-white and toes unstained by mud or rain. They’re loud, laughing, excited; their nervousness is palpable. They cling to their friends and offer disclaimers to the run leaders signing them in. They clutch up in the hallways and block the entrance to the gym, where I must pass through their gauntlet to get to Saturday morning spin class. They sit in the walkways, feet splayed out in fresh new SmartWool socks, begging to trip me, as I make my way past to spend the first part of my Saturday in a dark room on a bike that goes nowhere.

Last year, I hated them. I endured Saturday after Saturday wrestling my way through the rabid run campers to get to spin class. I resented them more each week. Not only were they clogging up the gym, blocking the way and taking our parking spaces, their fresh-faced enthusiasm at fever pitch, but they were running and I was not. Between years of arthritis, a bad ankle and an old hamstring tear, I didn’t think I could ever run again. Biking was going to have to be enough for me. But I watched them week after week: overweight, out of shape people caught up in the flurry with their running peers. I watched them struggle through the snow as they left the building for group runs, their spanking new shoes getting wet and dirty while they straggled along at the back of their group, some not even making it to the street before they tuckered out and walked. And, they inspired me.

So, as everyone knows who’s been reading this blog for a while, I had my own run camp. It lacked the benefit of group camaraderie, lectures from trainers and inspirational talks. But I started training and ended up a runner. Not a fast runner, not a long distance runner, but enough of a runner to satisfy that longing.

So this year, I empathize with them. They are new runners, entering into the unknown, exposing their novice skills to hundreds of others, in the quest to run a 5K, a half, or maybe even a marathon. They’re trying something new where they might fail, might get hurt, or worse, quit before they find out what they could become. Now, when I put up with the inconvenience of hundreds of runners clogging up my gym for a few weeks, it’s okay, because, now I’m one of them.

© Huffygirl 2013

Photos courtesy of http://www.mlive.com

Related posts:

Advertisements

Weekly Photo Challenge: My 2012 in pictures


What a year!

© Huffygirl 2013

Born to run or not: 5K update


Mission accomplished. Here’s my son Mike and I prior to my injury-free 5 K race. Mike did great – we started together and seconds later I never saw him again. I kept my usual slow pace and managed to complete and remain injury free. But I’m dialing it down for now – no more 5K’s for a while. I’ll stick to my two miles two or three times a week, and behave. Maybe we are born to run, but at least for me, only in short, slow distances.

Kudos to blogger buddy Martin at Thoughts from Finchley who recently dusted off his old cycling jersey and got out on his brand new bike. I expect to see him passing me by any time now.

Meanwhile, cold weather is moving in here, making it almost impossible for a sissy like me to get outside and run or bike. For the next few months I’ll probably be mostly stuck in the gym, getting all tangled up on the treadmill, or slogging through yet another spin class. What do you do to stay active now that the weather is turning colder?

© Huffygirl 2012

Related posts: