This entry was written last week, before my weekend at the Jeff Galloway Runner's Retreat.
I feel like I'm making my way backwards in time. I had to get up at 3 am this morning in order to catch my 6 am flight out of Manchester. I've never flown out of Manchester before. I don't think it's much closer than Boston really, but it's a smaller, less crazy airport (1 terminal vs 4) and in this case my Southwest flight was cheaper and more direct. There aren't any non-stops from Boston to Reno anyway, so it didn't really matter which airport I traveled out of.
My flight made it to Chicago 20 minutes early and now I'm on the second flight to Reno. From there I'll pick up a rental car, meet Lee who is coming on a different flight, and head to the Squaw Valley Lodge in Olympic City, California.
I'm both excited and nervous about this weekend. I've fantasized about doing this for years, ever since I became a more serious Galloway Runner. What is a Galloway Runner you ask? Well I'll be happy to tell you....it's someone who follows Jeff Galloway's training methods, that involve adding walking breaks to almost all training runs. It's also known as run-walk-run. Since adding walk breaks to my training my race times have improved and I have avoided injury completely. I have run 2 marathons and I am training for my third.
But I am a slow runner. I run a marathon in around 5.5 hours, a half marathon in 2.5, a 10k in a little over an hour, a 5k in a little over 30 minutes. I work hard on my training, but I have little natural talent for running, any more than I have for any physical activity. My legs are short and my lungs are small. I belong to a family of women with large thighs and big butts.
But I love running! I like the solitary nature of the sport, interspersed with the camadarie of racing. I like the fact that the only person I am competing against at my level is really myself. I like that turning 60 puts me in the next age group and automatically improves my times! I hope to still be jogging along when I'm 70, and beyond.
But I don't know what this weekend will be like. I could very well be the slowest runner there and will have to struggle with my embarrassed little ego as the other runners disappear into the sunset. The altitude could very well affect me, but I'm taking medication for it just in case. Will the other runners scoff that I'd like to record this weekend on my gps watch? Will I dress too warmly or not warmly enough? What if I have to pee on a long run (it happens)? The list of my potential worries goes on....
But Lee will be there (as a non-participating spouse) and he is always my fervent cheer-leader in the running department. And Sherry posted something great on Facebook this morning. "Do not be envious of people that are better than you. Be challenged." It's true, besides learning from running with other runners and attending the clinics this weekend, I can also learn a lot from watching and listening to the other participants, so that's what I will try to do instead of worrying about myself. Wish me luck!