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Never had I seen so much neon in my entire life. I thought maybe I had blacked out and was seeing spots. After all, I hadn’t gone to bed until 2am the night before and had woken up at 6am so it was entirely possible I was still asleep…

But no, the brightly colored moving objects were a group of 40 or so crazy people who had conjured together in the early hours of Saturday morning to go for run.

Nine miles out and back was the set course. Ha! That wasn’t going to happen.

If I was going to have save my ego and stick with the training plan I was following for my half-marathon, I was only going to run four miles. Two miles out and two miles back. I could do that.

I (foolishly) admitted out loud to a co-worker that I wanted to try to train for a half-marathon in the fall (don’t ask why… I’m still trying to answer that myself…). He asked if I had anyone to train with, having trained and run in several marathons himself, he knew how grueling and lonely long runs could get (especially when you don’t run with an iPod!). So he told me to check out a running group that gets together every Saturday and runs anywhere from three to twenty miles.

I decided to go, but I felt like the new kid in class…

What if I couldn’t keep pace with anyone?

What if no one even talked to me?

Would they know I was an imposter? After all…surely the folks prepping for Boston would laugh if they heard I was only running four miles as my long run…

What if I got lost on the route?

Well, I survived.

And I did in fact find someone to talk to.

And they did keep pace with me for my four miles (and then went on to finish their twelve miles!).

And I didn’t get lost.

By the time I finished and made it back to my car, I felt elated. I had challenged myself and came out alive on the other side (okay, running wasn’t going to kill me, but you can understand my hesitation, right?!?). People were genuinely happy to welcome a ‘newbie’ into their group. Call me crazy, but I think I’m going to join them again next week…

Always openly heartfelt,