Sunday, June 17, 2012

On The Run, The Shyness Is Gone

A Running Experience Club Training - June 9, 2012 (photo courtesy of club president Dave K.)

By nature I’m an introvert. Grade school and high school parties? Wallflower. Senior prom? Didn’t attend and even forgot that there was one. Partying and clubbing? Not for me. I have a hard time approaching , introducing myself, and talking to people. That is until I’m out running with them. What alcohol does to loosen other people’s tongues, running does to me. Running with others exhilarates me.
I didn’t get a chance to blog about last week’s AREC training run. I guess I was too exhilarated to compose it. Besides, I got invited by my cousin to watch the Pacquiao/Bradley fight at her house so I was gone for most of the day. Anyway, it was a 7 mile run and I finally got a chance to talk briefly with one of the runners from Train4autism. I asked her how the program worked and she said she just signed up but hasn’t had the opportunity to raise any funds yet. She even wasn’t sure what the requirements were. I also got to talk with someone named Aileen who joined the 12 minutes per mile pace group and found out she does boot camp fitness training every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in addition to running on those days. Sounds like a hard core fitness enthusiast to me. I ran with her until the three mile mark and when we reached the water station there, I went ahead on my own. About a mile later I caught up with an old friend, Dona who was supposed to be pacing the 10 minutes per mile group, however there were only two of them. Since I have long lost my sense of pace, I’m not sure anymore if they were really doing 10 minutes per mile. Nevertheless it was nice to hang with them for the last three miles. Dona’s companion was a young lady of Indian descent whose name escapes me now (I’m so poor at remembering names). I mistook her for one of the Train4autism runners because she was wearing a baby blue shirt. It turns out she was a nurse who works at UCLA Medical Center so we talked about nursing stuff. So these two ladies led me to finish the 7 miler, then I ran back about a hundred yards to pick up Aileen and bring her to the finish.
Flash forward to this week’s AREC run. We met at a different location close to a relatively new running shoe store – Legacy Running Company, which was about 4 miles from where I live. The owner was going to give some running shoe advice after the run which we have been doing every year but at a different store. The run course were just a simple 2 loops around the park for the 6 milers and 2 ½ loops for the 8 milers (this was to minimize crossing too many traffic lights). Well darn, I couldn’t find the pace leaders I usually run with at the start because some people were running on the grass while others followed the bike/pedestrian path, and I got concerned that I may have to run by myself. No chance of that happening of course with all the people running. It was just a matter of finding someone with a similar pace. The problem was I was running faster than 12 minute pace and I was either going to be in oxygen debt soon or tweak my ankles. I managed to draft behind a couple of baby blue shirted Train4autism runners and we chatted briefly, then at about the 1 mile mark I caught up with a lady who had passed me earlier so I ran with her the rest of the way. Her name was Jennifer and she and her husband Mike were training with us. Unfortunately Mike had injured his knee and wasn’t running that day. He was scheduled for an MRI at noon. Jennifer was in pharmaceuticals (the legal kind), so just like the previous week with the nurse, we talked about medical stuff. All that chatting helped a lot though because some of the streets were angled so much not to mention that the pace was much faster than what I’ve been running the past several weeks, that my left ankle started to hurt. The last mile tested the limits of my cardiovascular and tendon endurance. Thanks to this lady, I finished an almost 8 mile tempo pace run J.
So there it is. Pre-run and post run, I’m mostly quiet as a dormouse, but once my legs get moving my lips start flapping. I may not be able to run as much as before but I’m still able to run my mouth when I’m running.

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