Running alone while in a group

“Running alone while in a group” is the seventh post in a series about the human side of dailymile: How We Succeed. As a part of this series, dailymilers write about their experiences as athletes struggling to overcome obstacles and solve problems with the help of their friends on dailymile. Being an athlete makes our bodies stronger, but having the support of a crowd of athletes makes our minds stronger. This series highlights the side of training that requires more than muscle power. To submit your story, email the editor

Today’s story comes from Amy K. from Wisconsin. Be sure to check out Amy’s blog.

I’ve never been fast. I don’t even know if I’d ever care to be fast. So I always resort to the back of the race corrals or the back of the pack on a group run. Usually on dailymile, you hear about how fast people run races. My fast is your “omg could we be going any slower?” Don’t get me wrong. I have a time goal for races. It’s just nowhere near that of my close friends or many of my dailymile buddies. When they’re running an “easy” 9 min pace, I’m busting my ass trying to keep a sub 15 pace.

This may sound odd, coming from someone who has a huge group of running friends – many of whom she MET through running and dailymile – but I’m afraid to run with a group. I have an anxious nervous feeling in my chest when I think about actually running WITH someone. What if they’re faster than me? What if they get frustrated when I have to stop to walk? What if they don’t consider this a workout? What if I look ridiculous? What if I fail? What if they get frustrated that I don’t talk when I run? That I don’t want to talk because it will take up precious air that I could use to bust through my lungs on this run?

I never get that anxious nervous feeling with dailymile. I’ve never been shy about sharing anything here – good, bad, ugly, whatever. I’m very honest (sometimes to a fault). Yeah, I’m the girl with the blog that ranks #1 on Google for exercise farts (you’re welcome, America). Clearly, I lack the self-editing gene along with that whole “I have no shame” thing.

What’s the difference? What makes sharing here on dailymile so easy for me? Why can I be who I am here, but not in person? Maybe it’s that whole it’s-just-the-Internet-so-no-one-is-really-watching way of thinking. Maybe it’s just easier to hide behind a computer screen. Maybe it’s the feedback.

I have gone through a lot of ups and downs in my training since joining dailymile early last year. And along the way, I’ve picked up an amazing group of online friends. I can share my runs with friends across the world, and it’s like they’re right there beside me, cheering me on. I am no longer running alone. I’m running with all of you.

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