Attempted Runner.

Why can’t I run outside?
05.07.13, 21:08
Filed under: running | Tags: , , , , ,

I’ve finally made a decision after weeks of research. I’m going to purchase the Garmin Forerunner 10 GPS watch in violet.


My next big decision is when to buy it, only because I do not want $130 go to waste. I know for a fact that I will use it at least 5 times between now and Jan. 2014 (all the current races I am signed up for excluding color/neon run where it would get messed up). The problem I am having is, a GPS will not work in doors and on a treadmill.

Simple answer: Run outside.

It’s suppose to be lovely out the next few days.

My problem: I’m afraid.

Ha. What a vagina I am, I know.

Just a hop, skip and a jump from my front porch is a plethora of trials. There is the Iron Horse Trail (24.5 miles), The Contra Costa Canal trail (13.8 miles), Briones/Mt. Diablo trail (11.6 miles) with a few other little ones.

50+ miles right at my doorstep and I don’t step foot on it.

The trails are nice.

Some are shaded.

There is a variety of terrain with pavement, gravel and bridges.

Theres giant wish flowers the size of a softball (No Joke!!).
And ducks swimming all along the canal trail.

(All photos from me in July 2011)

These trails have everything I want. They are not indoors. Not on an obnoxiously loud treadmill. Has real air rather than circulated by fan spare bedroom air. No netflix to fill my head with mindless babble.

Why can’t I just run outside?

Why am I afraid? Because I’m self conscious to run by the Stepford wives (and husbands) as the huffing and puffing red faced slow paced runner. I don’t fit in.

I am worried that I will get kidnapped or mugged. Chances are that it will never happen in this area. Thanks to growing up in a not so safe anymore neighborhood for brainwashing me.

I’m just nervous to go out in public and run.

Yet, I do it with no problems on race days.

I was to do it yesterday but it was suppose to rain and my knee hurt.

I was to do it today but I got a headache and by the time the time it went away it was too dark and the trail is not lit.

These excuses have gone on for almost two weeks now. I know I’ll eventually get out there and run and realize that I was just being idiotic. But until then, I’ll continue to be the lame scaredy-cat on a loud squeaky treadmill in stale room air.


Have you been afraid to run in public?

How did you get passed it?


10 Comments so far
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We’re practically neighbors because the CC canal trail is right outside my front door.

Here’s my story: last September I was out of shape and 45 lbs overweight. One day I decided to do a 2 mile walk down the trail. It was hard and I’m pretty sure I looked stupid. I went and did that every day for the next few weeks.

Then one day I decided to try to run one block. I couldn’t do it. Well, I DID do it, but I nearly threw up and I’m certain I looked stupid….

So I kept at it and after a few weeks it started to get easier. Then, sometime just before Halloween I managed to do an entire 3 mile jog without stopping. I was so happy I nearly cried. Also, by this point I had shed about 15 lbs.

I kept at it. All of a sudden the canal trail wasn’t enough. I entered a 5k race in December and did well. I had so much fun I did another a week later. By 1/1 I had lost 25 lbs.

At this point I really began to enjoy running. I was able to do 6 miles at a respectable pace, so I entered a 10k trail run in Livermore. I loved it. I loved it so much that I went to Sports Basement and bought a pair of proper trail shoes and started running the trails at Castle Rock at least once a week. I started to get faster and stronger. I had also lost 35 lbs.

Then I got ambitious and registered for the Disneyland half marathon in Seltember. I figured I needed to train and started to increase the mileage of my long runs.

Last weekend I did a 13.3 mile training run (almost entirely on the Iron Horse, by the way) and realized I hadn’t set the bar high enough.

This morning, after discovering I had lost a total of 45 lbs, I registered for a marathon.

So, in 8 months I managed to go from lazy, fat and out of shape to marathon runner in training. All of my runs, 100%, have been outdoors for all of Walnut Creek to see. I’m sure people laughed, and frankly I didn’t care. They don’t laugh any more because I’m usually passing them.

I have found the local running community to be extremely supportive and I’ve made a few new friends in the process.

I’ve done a few more races this year with an outfit called Brazen Racing ( They do races every two weeks or so in the East Bay. There are usually 3 events: a 5k, a 10k and half marathon. You see the full range of people there: super elite runners who have a shot of winning the Boston Marathon (not an exaggeration) to people who are worse than I was 8 months ago. They’re all out on the same course having a great time. I have yet to see an ego at their races; just down to earth people who like to run. The Brazen races are SUPER fun and extremely well organized. The people who run the show are just about the nicest people in the world.

Here’s my point- you won’t feel out of place at a Brazen event. It’s totally addictive because I’ve registered for 5 more of their events this year. Sign up for one of their 5k’s. I’ll be running their Nitro Trail half marathon in a few weeks, but there will be a 5k and 10k going on as well. Believe me, when they put that finisher medal around your neck at the finish line you’ll want to register for another. Plus, then you’ll have a t shirt from the race that you can wear on your runs on the Iron Horse.

As for the Stepfords? Meh. Screw them. I can guarantee that if you ever pass me on the trail I’ll say hi. Most people will, in fact. Truth is, most people out there have felt the exact same as you at some point.

Oh, and the Garmin rocks.

Good luck and I’m sure I’ll pass you on the trail someday. Be sure to say hi!

Before I hit enter I noticed you ran Western Pacific last weekend. I was there too running the 5k with my wife. I pushed the baby stroller! Hopefully you agree with me on Brazen. Hope you are able to make it to a few of their events. I’m doing Nitro, Summer Breeze and Drag N Fly, and probably the two New Years races (a New Year’s Eve AND a New Year’s Day half marathon? I’m in!)

My new mantra for Brazen races: I run for the It’s-It.

Comment by Big D

I’ve done about 10+ brazen races. I’m signed up for bad bass, summer breeze (10k) and drag-n-fly. I LOVE Brazen and its community. I have no problem running or slowly shuffling with them on trails. I’ve done Disney (3 5ks, 1 half and the 10k this Aug/Sept). It’s the same there too, I have so much fun. It’s just out on my own is my problem. I can’t hide forever. I WILL do it though, so I can blog about it. I’m building up the self esteem to do it. I’ll be out there soon enough to show off my awesomeness and when I am out there…..

I would be honored if you passed me.

Comment by Attempted Runner

I say rock the watch (been thinking about buying my wife the same one), and hit the wonderful trails we have here in WC.

I did have an encounter with a Stepford and her boyfriend/husband last Sunday right where the Canal Trail and Iron Horse connect (just past HF Park). Long story. I was pissed off for about two miles but after that I got lost in the music again and didn’t care any more. When you live in WC you take the good with the bad I suppose.

If you ever see a dorky looking guy wearing a Nathan Hydration Vest out on the trail be sure to say hi.


Comment by Big D

Oh! And how inconsiderate of me. That’s a wonderful story. Great success on the weightloss. Going from walking to now having a goal of a marathon is truly inspiring. It’s people like you, why I continue to do this. Congratulations on all your accomplishments.

Comment by Attempted Runner

Many thanks. I’m awfully proud of myself.

Nitro Trail will be my first HM. I have a goal of breaking 2 hours. Summer Breeze and Drag n Fly will be my final race tune-ups before the ING Hartford Marathon in October. My goal there is to break 4 hours (I just hope I don’t throw up in the process).

Anyhow, I bookmarked your site and look forward to more of your posts. I’ll be sure to shout out words of encouragement from time to time.

You can do this. You rock!!!!


Comment by Big D

Dorky guy in Nathan hydration vest: be sure to say hi – check!!

See its those stepford! Why cant they just be nice and normal? I guess I’ll take stepford over ghetto any day.

I’ve done the 5k nitro trail, that was my first trail run. A half? Cheers to those who conquer it. I think you’ll do plenty well on your full. You have drive and determination….and if you puke, then this just one less thing weighing you down. I saw your Twitter follow….I’m going to follow you back and encourage you on your full marathon. Best motto pretty much every runner has used: you can do!! You got this!!!

Comment by Attempted Runner

OMG – let me tell you about being scared to run outside – I have never ran in my life up until about a month ago – I was SO embarrassed when I got out there and started – 20 seconds into it I sounded like I was about to have a heart attack! I was thinking, “omg, if anyone hears me they’re going to think I’m dying”. Then someone posted this in facebook and I’ve been running outdoors all the time now:

“I hear these words all the time “I hate running outside. I feel like I look so stupid and I’m going so slow. People are probably thinking ‘What is she doing out there?”

Here’s what I have to say to that: There are three kinds of people that will pass you by.:

1. Runners in a car: “Work it, momma! That hill is a beast! So glad my run is over for the day. When can I run again?”

2. Runners running: “Hi. This sucks doesn’t it? But so awesome. Have a good run.”

3. Non runners: “I should be doing that. But it looks hard. I should not do that.”

Haters gonna hate, players gonna play. Which group do you want to be a part of? Me? I’d rather be standing at the top of the hill that I just dominated, unable to breathe, ready to puke, hair matted to my forehead and boob sweat on my shirt than at the bottom wondering what it would feel like.”

Awesome, isn’t it?? From the day I read that I would pretend those people gawking at me running up the street are jealous and they wish they could be me … because once upon a time, I was the one driving by wishing I was them …
Happy running … 🙂

Comment by rosalindeleblanc

Thanks! Each day my confidence is building more and more. Its posts, mottos, etc. like these that help a million!

Comment by Attempted Runner

Love, love seeing stories like these and the comments below. Running outside is amazing amd well worth it. Took me a long time to get out there…. and I know I looked ridiculous. Hell, I even shouted out loud when I finished. But the benefits outweigh the negatives. And since I run in the ghetto… those stepfords can shove it! They got nothing on you and your awesomeness.

Comment by JMH

[…] a run…outside even! I’ve mentioned it a few times already, but I’ll say it again. I have a hard time running outside. If I’m with someone it’s not a problem but solo, I just don’t like […]

Pingback by #Janathon 12: I’m ok with not making a full 40 minute workout. | Attempted Runner.

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