Since I was so vulnerable on yesterday’s post, I thought why not carry the fun over another day? Last night I decided to do something I have wanted to do for a long time. I went to a fun run at my local Fleet Feet running store. By myself. Alone, Just me. Ok, you get the picture. I typically don’t mind new social situations as long as Bobby or a friend are with me so I have someone to talk to and not stand in the corner alone looking like the crazy socially awkward girl, so this was definitely out of my comfort zone.
It was a tax day fun run from the store, for three miles. Since I am doing the speed training program with the running store starting in a couple of weeks, I thought it would be good for me to get to know some people there.
The run started at 6, so I showed up about 5:45 to check in. I just kind of stood off by myself and I saw several groups of people that clearly knew each other all talking and laughing and I was kind of bummed that no one had bothered to say hi to the very obviously “new girl”. But then I stopped feeling sorry for my sad little self and realized part of getting out of my comfort zone was taking initiative to get to know people, so I decided to introduce myself to another girl standing alone and we chatted for a few minutes. at 6:00, the run started. It was 1.5 miles out and back (which really ended up being 3.5 miles total, oops). I was excited to be there and didn’t want to be in the back of the pack (maybe 40 or so people there?) so I took off WAY too fast.
I did remember to take one photo. Please forgive the quality. Remember, it was my first time, I didn’t want to bust up in there taking tons of pictures with my freak flag flying high. first impressions matter, people.
I pushed pretty hard in the beginning, but did take one walk break up a hill coming back. I ended up averaging a 10:00 min pace for the 3.5 miles. Not my best, but that’s why I was there, to get faster. I run so much harder when I am around other people. I even ran the last half mile back with a nice guy who was running about my pace.
When we met back at the store, they had water and beer, and a lady from a massage place giving discount cards and free massages. I was dripping with sweat so I passed on the massage. I told her “you’re welcome” when I passed. Poor girl had to rub all kinds of sweaty smelly people. I again decided to chat with a couple of people since I was just sitting there alone, and met two or three really friendly folks who were also signing up for the speed training class I am starting at the end of the month. Hopefully it will get easier each time and I can meet more people. All in all it was lots of fun, especially for a totally free event!
My two takeaways from this experience would be 1.) Get out of your comfort zone. Go to that class at the gym, that fun run, or that meeting you have wanted to go to but didn’t want to go alone or look out of place. You are braver than you think, and may make some new friends. 2.) If you are the “regular” at a class etc., be on the lookout for first timers and people standing alone. Don’t just huddle up in your clique and only talk to your friends. YOU could make the difference that determines if someone comes back the next time or not!
If you are in the Jackson, MS area, please come join Fleet Feet Jackson at the next event! There is a pub run with beer at the finish April 29th at 6:00 at Soulshine Pizza in Ridgeland. Contact me for more info. I would love to see you there!
QOTD: When is a time you had to step out of your comfort zone?
The winner of the Lorna Jane diary/planner is Betsy Tsukamoto! Please email me at email@example.com
Ash Diamond says
I’m so glad you went to the event! It isn’t easy but you’ll find it SO much more fun after a few weeks!
I use Fleet Feet for my training and went for the first time by myself also. So glad I did it! Good for you!
I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, and I would never have imagined that this would have been out of your comfort zone. It’s so refreshing to hear that someone who appears to have everything so together in terms of running and being social has moments like this. It makes me feel so much better! I realize that I’m not the only one, and when I feel like this, it doesn’t mean I’m not a “real runner.”
A few weeks ago I went to a meet and greet at my local running club and ran with them. It was fun, and while I’m still not completely comfortable with this, I feel like it was a step in the right direction for me!
Stacie @ SimplySouthernStacie says
What a great experience! I really struggle with stepping out of my comfort zone and putting myself in uncomfortable situations by myself. It’s really something I need to try to do more because I feel like the rewards would outweigh the initial discomfort.
Go you! I’m sure they’ll be your buddies in no time! 🙂
So glas you did that. I struggle with getting out of my comfort zone and meeting new people. A couple years ago I started training at my local running store and I’m so glad I did! I’ve met some of the most amazing people!
I am the awkward person is social situations where I know no one, but I had to get out and meet people when I moved to Dallas. I met some great friends doing that and we do a lot of fun stuff.
Love it. Honestly, I am going to be stepping WAY out of my comfort zone on Monday when I run Boston with some a-mazingly intimidating awesomely fast and strong athletes. 🙂
You are so brave! I guess everyone can be if they give themselves the chance, but not everyone does that! It’s funny- when I’m with someone else I know and in a new situation, I go out of my way to alleviate the discomfort/awkward level. But when I’m by myself, that part of me runs and hides, and I end up looking like the arrogant jerk that won’t talk to anyone! haha 🙂 Your courage is inspiring!
Good for you for getting out there, that’s the hardest part! It took a couple of months of being in a running group before I finally made good, solid friendships. Hope the track/speed work sessions go well!!
Mindy @ Road Runner Girl says
Good for you! I bet you will meet lots of friends to run with!
Kathryn @ Dancing to Running says
Kudos to you for going out there. I’m always intimated to go to events on my own, in fear of being the lone one in the corner.
It was so nice to meet you at the run! Look forward to seeing you again and starting the speed work.
Nice to meet you too! Glad you signed up for speed work!
I don’t mind meeting new people but my fear is being the slow one in the group. I’m between a 12-13 min/mile and everyone is so much faster than me. We don’t have a Fleet Feet in Chattanooga but do have a great running store that has weekly runs. I do want to work on my speed so I’m not habitually at the bottom of the leader board!