The story of running with “Da Crew” begins with a haircut. No, seriously.
Angie, my friend who cuts my hair, was doing just that when her husband came in with their adorable three-year-old daughter. Chris started telling me about this group that runs five miles at 5:30 a.m. Intrigued (and missing my nights when I have to run in the evenings), I asked if I could join, and he told me the time and location of their next run.
I could hardly sleep the night before the run. Would I be able to keep up? They run a 10-minute mile on average. I can do that for about three miles, but would I be able to hold out for five? I was also super excited. I was going to run with a group! I hadn’t done that since last fall, and, at that time, I was the leader of that pack.
I woke up at 5:10 a.m. the next morning to give myself about 15 minutes “wake-up” time. I took my super duper asthma inhaler right before and met Chris and three other runners – two men, both over six feet in height, and a petite woman wearing a reflector vest. All of them were very obviously experienced runners. So let’s go over this running crew:
One guy is in the military.
Two are over six feet tall and have ripped calf muscles (It’s a shame that I look at calf muscles on practically every runner.).
And one is this small woman who just has that “running” look.
And then there’s me. Who started running two years ago.
I was quite intimidated, but…I kept up.
Repeat: I. KEPT. UP.
And I was addicted. There’s something about running in the middle of the road in the dim light of the day with no cars that’s invigorating. Something about being awake for three hours before I go into work and knowing that the run is out of the way that is relaxing. Something about running with the “big dogs” and keeping up that fills me with confidence.
It also helps that I’m running places I’ve never run before. And I don’t have to keep up with time or distance or location. I just run. And listen. One of the guys is a big history buff, and he always has fun tidbits about the town or World War II or anything. So I don’t have to talk and get out of breath unless I want to jump in on the conversation. I can listen and be totally entertained.
However, this morning when I woke up at 5:05 a.m., I received the following text from my running contact: “I’m still sick. S.D. is meeting you.”
S.D. is LEGENDARY in our running community. She has a 26.2 sticker on the back of her car and can run anytime, anywhere. When I saw that message this morning, yes, I did slightly panic. I’d been to the allergist the day before, who informed me that my breathing capacity isn’t really up to snuff (and also gave me about three prescriptions to fix this little issue I’m dealing with).
So this morning I dressed, pulled my hair back, took my asthma pill and two inhalers (everyone who has run with me is thanking God right now that they didn’t run with me hyped up on two inhalers) and headed to the track, our meeting place.
I kept up. Up hills and down hills and at a 10-minute per mile for five miles.
Yeah, I feel pretty awesome today. How ‘bout you?