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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Running Outside of my Comfort Zone

As most of you know, I do almost ALL of my miles solo ... either outside in the warmer months or inside on the treadmill during the colder Wisconsin months (which there are many!). And, I hate the cold weather. I don't believe my feet have hit the pavement outside since the Haunted Hustle Half Marathon at the end of October! Yes ... I am a whimp!

Since this year is all about trying new things, branching out, and stepping outside of my comfort zone ... I've been exploring all sorts of new opportunities to fill my time when I can't be with Little Dude and Little Diva.

Recently, I learned of a local running group that holds Tuesday night runs, I thought I would give it a try. It would help me step out of my comfort zone and force me to try to meet some like-minded individuals and help convince me to do some "social running". This would also get me off the treadmill and get me back outside. Seriously, how much fun is running in place?!?!

So, I pulled my running tights out of the back of my drawer of running clothes and paired it with a cute running skirt, three layers on top, pink CEP compression socks and a bright Bondi Band. No reflection gear was going to be needed on this nightime run!!! I left work and ventured out to the meeting point.

Seven people had RSVPd for this run. I was told that only 2-3 usually show during the winter months. But, but there were about nine of us that ended up running together. And, I was the only chick! We met up at a local bar and I met some familiar faces that I had seen online the past few weeks. Even though I was the only chick, the group was a great mixture of ages and levels of experience. I love how runners can bond, no matter what your running background is and what your personal life entails. Some were new to the group just like me, but everyone seemed to have something to talk about and conversation flowed well. Afterall, there is always running/racing to discuss in awkward moments of silence!

We headed out for a 3-4 mile loop past Lake Monona and the Bay. After about one mile, the group started splitting off into two separate groups, based on speed. I didn't feel cold, as I warmed up and my pace felt awesome. It was a balmy 20-something degrees and there was no wind off of the lake. The conditions felt surprisingly great! And, I felt great! I paired up with some of the faster runners and we headed out around the Bay. It was fantastic breathing the fresh Winter air. I loved that the group would say "hi" to other runners (and there were a lot of them out last night) as we passed them out on the trail. We ended up taking some detours and ended up with 5-5.5 miles, as we returned to the bar.

Most of us returned to the bar for some drinks and sat down and chatted. Some of us found it quite entertaining that about half of us were either divorced or going through a divorce. Is it any coincidence that we all need the running?!?!?! I don't think so.

I didn't eat dinner. I didn't have an alcoholic beverage. But, I continued the evening with 4+ hours of fantastic conversation over two Diet Pepsi's and had an absolute blast. One guy that reads my blog had me laughing so hard all night that I was crying. My face hurt from smiling all night. As much as I've been feeling awesome lately and have actually been smiling a lot .... those happy tears of joy really make you feel phenomenal.

It was an amazing time with some great people, and this will force me to get out of my comfort zone much more often in the future. It was so worth it.


When was the last time YOU
stepped outside of your comfort zone?
Give-It-A-Try.

20 comments:

  1. Good for you! Sounds like you had a great time -- I bet you'll be doing that again!

    When did I last step out of my comfort zone? I will be later today for a meeting I have to lead here at work... :)

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  2. Sounds like a great time! I love when you try something new and it ends up being a great time! Joining up with a group would be leaving my comfort zone. I have been thinking about it a lot since we have relocated and I don't really know anyone. I get nervous that I am going to suck...but that is just me! Maybe Feb. will be my month to leave my comfort zone!

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  3. i love running with my group. glad you found them!

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  4. im a whimp too. im glad i am not the only one! hahha

    good for u for getting out there and doing some social running!

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  5. Congrats on stepping out of your comfort zone. I run with a running group and have no idea how I would make it without them. So happy you had fun!

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  6. That's awesome you joined up with a running group! I did that too for the first time in the fall and I love it!

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  7. I just started running with a group on Saturday mornings, and I love love love it.

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  8. That's fantastic! Yes, I've stepped outside my comfort zone before - I signed up for Team In Training and went to my first group run not knowing a soul. It's scary, but like you said, runners always have something to talk about.

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  9. Wow, what fun! Glad you had a great run and time.

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  10. Sounds like a great time. Running with a group is always out of my comfort zone, but the few times I've done it, I've had a great time.

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  11. That's awesome. So glad you gave it a try and had a great time. The closest running group for me is 35-40 minutes away. I'd love to be a part of one. I'm hoping we can get a local one started someday.

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  12. This morning! I'd never done a tempo run on a treadmill until this morning. I thought it would be awful to run "fast" on the 'mill, but it was totally fine. It was actually a really good experience.

    And I know what you mean about a group of otherwise oddly mixed people coming together so easily. My old running group (which I miss terribly--I moved this summer) is not a group that, if mixed in with a group of 100, you would ever guess would be friends. And we're like freaking family.

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  13. Sounds like just what you needed. I used to run with a group in New Mexico, but I always come up with excuses for why it won't work out time-wise now. I really should do a group run, too.

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  14. sounds awesome!! Congrats to you for making some new friends! :)

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  15. I've never done a group run, I am afraid of being left in the dust, ha ha...but I guess then I 'd just be running alone which is what I do now, so what's to lose (other than face ; ))

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  16. Sounds like fun! A running friend of mine is organizing a local running group and I can't wait to start...(def. out of my comfort zone :)

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  17. So fun! Running with people can be intimidating, but is also a lot of fun (and beats the treadmill any day!).

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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  18. Great job stepping out and doing something new! Glad you had a good experience.

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  19. So glad this worked out for you. Most of the winter the weather isn't really an issue, assuming you dress appropriately.

    Sounds like you had a wonderful time and enjoyed a lot of laughter . . . which is always a good thing!

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  20. That sounds awesome!! I wish there was a local group that I could join...it is so fun to meet people who have the same interests as you :)

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