Run Happy Revolution Training: Overcoming Intimidation

"Intimidated: to make timid or fearful; to compel or deter by or as if by threats."

 Our Timonium 5k training group all bundled up after Thursday's run!

Our Timonium 5k training group all bundled up after Thursday's run!

I like to think I’m a pretty adventurous person. I’ve traveled Europe on my own. I try any food that is put in front of me (I even ate jellyfish once!).  I have jumped off of cliffs and gone white water rafting. I’ve even opened up to a crowd of hundreds of people on a stage in the middle of Times Square. Where am I going with this? Well, naturally I was intimidated by each and every one of those moments, but the common outcome has been that overcoming the intimidation has led me to some pretty spectacular experiences in my short 22 years of living.

If I’m being brutally honest, just the thought of running outside intimidated me (trust me, I know how lame that is), but since I’ve been engraving this activity into my weekly routine, I’m absolutely realizing an unexpected understanding of why people love running so much, and I can whole heartedly say I’ve been enjoying it more and more every time I get out there and finish the day’s run. I could easily write a laundry list of all the things that intimidated me about this program, but I’ll spare you all and instead I’ll focus simply on the one that has haunted me since I was a kid; running in the cold.

Seeing as how this has been an unseasonably warm winter, I think it’s fair to say the winter training programs lucked out in the beginning. Key words: “in the beginning,” because as we all know, the story of the past few sessions has directly addressed my issue of running in the cold. As I continuously checked the forecasts I couldn’t help but worry about my lungs and my limbs...

As I sat indoors checking the weather for last Sunday I thought to myself, “holy cow, if I didn’t have strep throat, I would be absolutely panicking at the thought of running outside,” so for the 13 brave souls who endured the icy cold conditions, I tip my cap to you! When we all reconvened for Thursday’s run, I was blown away by all of the positivity coming from those people who did make it. “It was cold, but it was really fun.” It doesn’t get much more clear-cut than that!

As I stood there stretching on Thursday evening I remember thinking to myself, “If they did it on Sunday, how could I not do it today.” And guess what? I did it. And guess what else? I thoroughly enjoyed it! The burning in my lungs was not nearly as unpleasant as I had anticipated, and I surely over dressed, so I’m happy to report that I made it out with all of my extremities in tact. I was experiencing that “runner’s high” that so many people talk about and I just couldn’t believe how alive I felt when I finished.

Running in the cold may not seem as intimidating to others as it had to me for so many years, but I can add it to the list of conquered fears, and that same common outcome I have experienced after overcoming intimidation in the past is still consistent as the Run Happy Revolution 5K training program is absolutely on my list of spectacular experiences!

I reached out to my fellow runners asking them to share their intimidation story from the start of training, and I think a lot of people can relate to Brooke. So to close, I wanted to share her incredible words in hopes that her story will inspire others the way it did me!

“I think my biggest fear was not being able to do "the whole running thing" in general. I was never a runner....I didn't really do sports in high school or college and my cardio was always elliptical and biking. The running joke between my husband and I is that I am not built for running as I have always been big chested - I had this stereotype in my head I was terrified of because I did not fit it. But then I found Charm City Run and signed up for this group and realized it was all in my head. Everyone is so welcoming and willing to help with tips, aid, or anything you might need it's almost overwhelming - in a good way! And our coach Michele is so positively and contagiously optimistic and encouraging that it is impossible to not fall in love with running and overcome the fears that inevitably were just of myself.
I am definitely a beginner...still a walker and jogger...and a back of pack kind of girl...but I am quickly falling in love and look forward to improving and doing longer races!”

Here's to intimidation being our motivation, and to warmer weather!


About the Author: Melissa Macaluso

Melissa is a senior at Loyola University and our Marketing Intern. This Spring, we talked her into joining the new Run Happy Revolution 5K Training program and blogging about her experience. Keep track of Melissa's experience training here!