Today was the first group training run for Team in Training.
Nothing too strenuous, just a 3 miler to get to know everyone.
We met for a quick breakfast at Le Peep by City Park - not too far from where I live. We got to sit and chat with a bunch of people from the team we will be sharing this journey with. After everyone trickled in, one of the LLS staff members gave a great welcome and shared some thoughts about the importance of TNT. We already met our coaches and mentor, so they said hi and welcomed us. We got to go around one by one and share why we are doing this. A small statement, but so profound.
One by one, everyone shared amazing stories: knowing a relative that was diagnosed with lymphoma. People who wanted to to run but needed a kick in the butt to increase distance. People who wanted to do something meaningful with their time. People who never dreamed that they could ever run a marathon or half marathon and they're doing this to prove to themselves that they can. People who have had a parent, niece/nephew, wife, or someone very close to them die from leukemia & other blood diseases.
I have a more full description here, but here's a condensed version of my story. My reason is two pronged:
-From a running standpoint, I really started doing it two years ago as a way to lose weight. I reached my peak weight of 284 and was starting to feel ashamed. So I trudged my way along some of the most embarrassing and disheartening runs of my life. But it got better. I ran my first 5K in Dec 2010 when I was living in FL and was instantly hooked. For the next few months, it became a pastime. Then a hobby. Then a love. By the time I moved to CO, I knew I needed to step it up. I ran my first 10K. Then 15K. The weight came off, and I felt amazing. Then I ran my first half marathon. When I crossed the finish line, I said I never wanted to do that again. 24 hours later, I thought about how I couldn't wait for the next half. 48 hours later, I wanted to run a marathon. Something I never thought I could do in a million years. Never on my "bucket list," because it wasn't ever a glimmer of a thought. But in that moment, I knew I could do it, and knew I needed to do it.
-My grandpa was one of my heroes. Late in his life, he was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells. He always inspired me, and there are several things I feel passionate about today because of him. Since then, I've known a few other people who have received a diagnosis, and I want to help. When I found out about TNT, I was sold! Anything I can do to raise money and awareness, count me in!
Combine those two aspects, and I knew this is what I had to do. And there's no other way I'd rather run my first marathon. And I can't wait!
After everyone shared, we headed out, stretched, and set off for a couple miles. The purpose was to see the park where we would be doing half of our runs (Tuesdays) and get to know the lay of the land. But it was great to be able to run with everyone. If anyone knows me and my running, they know one thing: I HATE running with people. I'd rather throw in my headphones and get lost. Not socialize. Not try to talk while I'm huffing and puffing. Not adjusting to anyone else's pace or have anyone adjust to mine. So this is going to be an experience that's way outside of my comfort zone.
And it was awesome! At least for the first run. I ran with a pack and we just chatted away. One struggles with running outside but she is a treadmill machine. We tried to convince a few people to run San Diego with us, NOT Steamboat (our team is training for two events - one in CO & one in CA). Where we live. Things we do. Just chit chatting away. I TRIED to chime in, but it was an adjustment for me. But lots of smiles and laughter. Biggest shocker: one of my teammates is from my hometown! We went to the same middle school, different high schools, but we know a lot of the same people. He's a year younger. CRAZY!
A great first run together, but they all get longer, faster, and harder from here. But with this team, we can conquer anything!