When I first started running, I was afraid to leave the treadmill. Just the thought of running on the street made me nervous. Then, I faced my fear and tried it. I told myself, I can do this. I’ll just keep it to the neighborhood. That worked splendidly for months until my training for a half-marathon kicked up my time and distance. It’s compelled me to leave my familiar streets (and unleashed dogs) and venture out for more miles.
It seems running has given me more than feeling healthier, it’s given me confidence. One example of that is when I had to step back on the treadmill a few weeks ago because Andrew was traveling and it was the only way I could get in my training. Before street running, I would never let go of the treadmill bar. I wouldn’t really run. This time, I never touched the bar. I felt like, “Look ma, no hands!” I also ran faster and longer. I had confidence on the machine.
I’m certain that new confidence carried me out to our city's streets. The unknown of it all is what concerned me the most. Cars to watch for, new unleashed (and possibly bigger) dogs, more people seeing me, random routes, uneven sidewalks, fast food smell distraction … you name it, I worried about it. Turns out, I’ve had a really great time enjoying my city’s scenery during those runs. I’ve also learned new things – like where our new doctor’s office is located and that the house of my desire has a tree house in the side yard.
My new running adventures also took me off-road. When one of my dearest friends (and one of my running inspirations), Ginger and her family, came to stay with us, we braved a first together – trail running. We hit Fort Yargo and encountered surprise patches of mud, water puddles to hurdle, steep hills, tree roots, weedy nature that tickled our ankles, bicyclists, and a lot of fun.
I know my adventures will continue each Saturday as my time gets longer until the half. I also have another first, an obstacle course team run (with Ginger and friends), coming up this month. Horizons like these would have seemed unreachable to me all those months ago. I really am glad I braved the unknown and discovered them.