It is amazing how different running with a group can be as opposed to running alone. This past Saturday my Orange Theory Fitness Weight Loss Challenge Team had our first official meet up to run/walk the Copper River Bridge. Our coach/trainer organized it as a fun way for us to get together, get to know each other, and get a workout in. I had a long run planned for that day, because I really have no idea what in the world I would do on Saturday mornings if I wasn’t running long, but I decided I still wanted to participate.
So, I started off my day with 5 miles on the trail near my house. I ran at a comfortable pace, but my legs felt pretty tired. I had just set a big 5K PR on Thursday and had completed a killer Orange Theory class on Friday so my legs were not very well rested Saturday morning. However, it was a nice day and as always I was thankful I was able to run.
Then, I hopped in the car and drove to the bridge to meet my teammates. I must admit I was a bit nervous. 5 more miles of HILLS on tired legs sounded tough, but it would be nice to meet the team. About 13 of us met up (including our trainer and an assistant trainer) and we were all planning to run/walk the entire 5 miles of the bridge except for 2 people who were going to walk half of it together. We took off and my competitive streak kicked in. I am smart enough to know that there are many people out there who are better, faster runners than me. However, I could tell that if I really pushed myself I could be the first one over the bridge (except for the trainers who were choosing to hang towards the back to motivate those who needed the extra push).
The initial incline was tough, but I just kept pushing my way up, and on the downhill bit I slowly started picking off the few people off who were in front of me. Sure enough I was the very first person to the other side of the bridge and I was feeling pretty strong. The way back up I tried to hold onto that downhill pace I had just run. I was huffing and puffing, but enjoying pushing myself. When we hit the top and had a mile left to go one of the trainers popped up to the front with me. We ran together for a while and then he took off, it really motivated me to try and catch him and my final mile out of 10, on tired legs, after a PR two days before came in at just 7:37, which is crazy fast for me. I felt amazing.
It is crazy how much you can do when you really push yourself. When you are running with others and trying to keep up, or when you are racing for a PR. I love my long slow runs, but something about pushing so hard that you are out of breath and in shock by your own performance is pretty awesome. I am so glad I meet up with the OTF Weight Loss Group to run.
What helps you to push yourself further?
Side note: I kicked but eating wise for 4 weeks, including the first 2 weeks of the OTF Weight Loss Challenge. Seriously, like the best I have ever eaten. Then on Mother’ Day I got a bit of track because I let some emotions get to me and it has thrown my whole week off with some not so great food decisions – time to cut that out and get back on track. I feel so much better when I am eating well.