earning my spot at the table

Remember as a kid always wanting to sit at the grown ups table at family gatherings?  When you are ready to really be there, you realize you’ve gained the knowledge and life experience needed to understand what’s been discussed? But if there too early in your development, you find yourself in over your head?

Last Monday, I felt like the kid at the grownups table. But it was more like I was the runner wannabe/yogi at the runner’s table.

As my duties as self-proclaimed “Queen of Blogger Meetups”, I suggested to my contact at the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon to gather the official 2012 bloggers together before we got heavy into our training schedule for the May races.  Leigh, the Cleveland Marathon rep, and Executive Race Director Jack Staph loved the idea and joined in on the blogger meetup fun. Joining the three of us that evening was:

Kali, Jess and Matt are long time social media running friends and I previously met Jenn and Holly at other meetups. It was great to meet Kristy for the first time and was grateful that Leigh and Jack were able to join us. The table was full of love for running in Cleveland.

Much like the kid at the grownups table, I felt like I had to earn my spot there. So I did what any “runner” would do: I went for a run that morning. I managed a 5K in about 34 minutes, returning to my Jeff Galloway inspired run/walk roots. Walk a lap and run a lap for 50 laps at 10AM allowed me to feel like I earned my spot at the table that evening. It was like I was telling everyone at the gym that “I’m a marathon blogger gosh darn it!” in every step I took around the track.

Now, I can’t say that run was anything overly impressive to some of the numbers my fellow diners put up on a regular basis. Kali ran an ultra in November. Have you seen Jess’ list of 2012 races? And Kristy’s one mile PR is 5:21. What was I doing there with these rockstars?!

And as I started to feel a bit silly in comparing myself, I realized I was simply working to find my balance between running and all those things we do to counter balance our love for running. Naturally with me at the table, yoga came up and everyone seemed to have something to say. Holly had just come from one of Nishkama’s community classes and shared some great feedback on her experience. Kali had questions about the Baron Baptiste 40 Days to Personal Revolution program. Jess and Holly had some great suggestions for West side studios that they shared. Some were yoga-ing for the emotional benefits, some because of injuries that were holding them back from running – but all getting something out of their time on their mats. Hearing that helped to put some of that previous anxiety I was having at ease. I can be a yogi and a runner at the same time…

Even though we talked a lot about running and other activities we do when not running (spinning, Twittering, beer drinking), Leigh and Jack were smart enough to keep us on the task at hand: this year’s race. We talked about this year’s course, the expo taking place at the IX Center, the plenty of bathrooms available at Browns Stadium, the placement of the starting line and more. As each topic came up, we were able to really speak our minds about how we felt. I appreciate the organization’s willingness to listen to feedback, no matter if it’s positive or negative. They just want to continue to improve their product and the race day experience.

We also discussed the potential for a meetup at the race expo on either May 18 or May 19. I’m keeping an eye on the official schedule of events to figure out the best time for one big blogger/Twitter/social media meetup. I know several bloggers are coming from around the country and I’d love to get as many as possible together before we all RUN CLE! If you have a suggestion/preference of date/time/location, leave it in the comments!

LONG STORY SHORT: I headed into the day unsure of my running status, but by the end of it, I knew how I felt via this Facebook status:

Just home from the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon blogger meetup: it’s great being able to blog for an organization that is so receptive to its constituents needs and wants. I’m feeling inspired to run those 13.1 miles on May 20!!

And just so you know: I ran two more times last week. Guess who’s finding her runner’s legs and her spot at the runner’s table…

Disclosure: This post is part of my participation in the 2012 Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon blogging series. Read my disclosure here.

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13 comments

  1. Holly says:

    I felt overwhelmed by how much everyone already knew about the race!

    I’ll throw a blogger brunch out there as another suggestion. I thought your voting poll worked great to help figure out what works best for the majority too!

  2. Jenn D says:

    Trust me I felt the same way. I realize I am not a fast runner, or someone who has been out there forever. But like you I am working to do my best. We will both rock that 13.1!

  3. Kristy (@KrisRunTri) says:

    one thing I have always loved about running and races… we all start and finish at the same place. we all run the same course and overcome the challenges together. we all are on that line for a different reason and love/respect/admire each other for that. we all bring something different to the runners table and all of us have something to share and many things we can learn from each other.

  4. Tina @ Best Body Fitness says:

    Gotta love that “I’m a runner” feeling – and you are definitely one! You don’t need to feel like you have to earn your spot. :)

    I know Peter & I will probably be in on Saturday but not before then. Maybe a Saturday lunch? That’s my vote, but I will do my best to make whichever date/time work so I can see you all!

  5. Jessica B. says:

    You can take out the “self Proclaimed” part of “queen of blogger meetups” you are definitely the Queen of Blogger Meetups and any other meet up.
    You have definitely earned your spot at the runner’s table and glad to see you have been running. Hope to see you run your next 13.1 on home turf!

  6. Karin B says:

    You definitely earned a spot at the runners table! Reading your blog entries is inspirational, especially to beginning runners (like myself) who are struggling to find inspiration to run a 5k. And I like that you find balance with running and yoga. I love volleyball and Zumba, and its comforting to know I don’t have to give up these other hobbies to be a runner!

  7. Kali says:

    Ah I love you! I remember the first time I ran Cleveland and during my last long run, I ran by so many people (it was the first nice day we had that spring) and I had this huge smile on my face and every person I passed, I wanted to shout “I’M GOING TO RUN A HALF MARATHON” at them.
    And seriously though, we’re all different levels and at different points in our running careers and lives in general. No reason to compare distances, times, or how impressive a run is. I’m in awe of anyone who picks up and starts running and sticks with it and reaches a goal, slow, fast, short, long.
    Can’t wait to see you again!

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