Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Run with TrailNerds

Since I moved back to Kansas in September and realized what my running options were locally, I've known that I'd have a hard time putting in long miles by myself. Mostly for safety reasons.
I have been following a lot of the Trail Nerds' blogs since living in Alabama and decided to meet up with them for an evening run.
I got out there with only a minute to spare but luckily for me, they never start on time. It turned out there were about 3 guys who showed up and myself. Right off I asked them if they were going to kill me slowly by pace. They were really awesome and quickly promised to "go slow."
We set out and right away I knew it was a pace I'd never be able to hold. I had never run at Wyco Park and found out immediately it's all hills with a 600ft elevation gain and loss. And November means the trails are full of leaves so seeing the trails is impossible. On top of that it was pitch black out there in the forest and I only had a flash light. Oops. Shaking and jarring around my light made me think of Blair Witch Project. Awesome. Out here with three guys I have never met, in the dark, in a forest. Brilliant!
These guys couldn't have been kinder though. As I dropped back further and further the guys took turns one at a time staying behind me to make sure I didn't get lost. Then the guys out front would stop and wait for me to catch up. It was so amazingly sweet but wow, I felt like a loser. Like I'd never ran a day in my life. I had just ran a 25k last weekend and I just completely looked like a noobie.
The guys reassured me I just needed to get to the gym and work on strengthening my legs. But two miles into it, feeling guilty for slowing them down (and with how fast they were going, they must be super fast when I'm not there), I bowed out. I asked them to loop us back to the cars so I could split.
So now, I don't know what to do. I am a 12 minute/mile pace. It's slow, I know. But I've been this pace for the 4 years I've been running long distances on and off. It's just where I'm at. I probably should join a group that you pay so you can run with a group of people who are your pace but they all run roads. I'm so not into that anymore.
Going home tonight I just felt really let down by myself.
There's one other group I thought I'd try: the Lawrence, Kansas Trail Hawks. It'd be a long drive and they are all in super long distances right now. But it seems some of them go at a 12 minute pace so maybe I could tag along some weekend runs. Right now I want to crawl under a rock with SUCK inscribed on it.

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