City Fit Girls Run Club: Why Community Is Everything

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By Kiera Smalls

City Fit Girls was created to inspire women on their fitness and weight loss journey. Some women are doing their first 5K or half marathon and/or running ultra marathons and setting new PRs.  Either way, every month, every week and every day, I hear or read a story about how much impact this community has made on someone, somewhere.

I believe that community, and its influence, is a powerful thing. And for that, I am forever grateful to see and to be a part of the CFG community. So here's my story...

I never considered myself a runner or thought that I was capable of running more than a few blocks without being out of breath. I used to give every excuse as to why I was not a runner...

It’s not for me. I don’t know how to train. I have asthma so I can't run. It’s not fun. Yadayadayada…

But the truth was, I just didn’t know what I was doing and didn’t want to be embarrassed.

Thanks to City Fit Girls Run Club, I realize those were pretty ridiculous assumptions holding me back from reaching new goals and meeting new best friends.

Which leads me to this past weekend's Rock & Roll Half Marathon. My 4th half marathon....

I was nervous yet hopeful for this run. I’ve been training with CFG Run Club on Wednesdays and Saturdays and on my own on other days of the week. When race day arrived, I was pumped.

As usual, CFG Run Club met beforehand to take a picture and to figure out which corral we were in. 17 of us skipped out on an extra few minutes of sleep to be together in the beginning.

As we all made our way to our different corrals, I couldn't help but smile and have gratitude. Every Wednesday, we come together to run 3-5 miles in preparation for experiences like this.

And then we were off.

For the first 9 miles, I managed to keep a consistent pace around 10:30. That was a HUGE accomplishment for me. I saw so many people along the way, tapping me on my shoulder and cheering me on. I probably said the word 'focus' about 60 times during those first miles to avoid distraction and to stay calm.

Miles 10-12 were really tough. I walked a little and I had to use the restroom. Ugh! I texted 3 friends for support, one was a CFG Run Club member named Sharon, who was running ahead of me, completing her first half marathon!

I am not dwelling on miles 10-12 because in the end, I achieved my fastest 5K, fastest 10K, and fastest half marathon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

and of course, we celebrated with brunch.

You see, I was once a person that thought I couldn't be a runner. The truth is, just about everyone can be a runner with a little less self-doubt and a little more self-motivation

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.”

There are many opportunities out there to get you to start running. All you have to do is believe in yourself, surround yourself with others who have the same goals and energy and make the commitment.

Before you know it, you'll go from running out of breath after 2-3 blocks to running your fastest half marathon with a few of your newest friends.