I’d only been running for a few months. Always on my own, always along the back trails of the village where I lived. Plodding along, quite happy with what I was doing, my only competition was myself on my Runkeeper app, where I was trying to go a little bit further each time than the last.
“Why don’t you enter a race?” Craig had been running for a few years, each year training for the Lincoln 10K.
“Oh god NO. Running with other people? No. A race? I’m far too slow. No. NO.” Truth was, I didn’t think I was fast enough. I wasn’t a proper runner. I wasn’t as good as other people. I didn’t know what to do at a race. Why would I want to enter a race? I wouldn’t be racing.
“Go on. There’s a 5K coming up. I’ll enter too.”
“Go on. You can already run 5K. Try it.”
“I don’t know what to do. Like where to go and stuff.”
“I’ll be there, we can go together. I’ll show you.”
“You have no excuse. Come on.”
“Gah. OK. If only to shush you up.”
And that, my friends, was the beginning of the rest of my running life.
Never underestimate the power of encouragement from friends who believe in you.