Tuesday, August 21, 2012

My Running "Family"--Thank you Back on My Feet

Yesterday, I announced to Team Christopher's Place (Team CP to those of us who are in it) that I would be handing over my coaching responsibilities to one of the other community volunteer runners in the group.  The announcement was simple.  I trust that the next co-coach (the other co-coach I'd worked with since last December is staying on) will help the team at least as much as I did.  Many people thanked me for my service.  And even after more than a year involved with the group, I am still meeting new people--both new people who come to run with Team CP and members of other teams whom I meet in Back on My Feet city level events or when they come for track workouts.

While my team thanked me, I really should have thanked them.  So, this is my public "Thank you."  Thank you for bright and cheerful 5:30 AM circle ups?  Thanks for trusting me for the last nine months.  Thanks for running with me.  Thanks for sharing your running growth with me.  From Jeanne who ran Boston and did her best half-marathon this year.  To Kani who is the "king of encouragement" most mornings (I've never told him that directly) and who made it to a five mile run. To George who has done a half marathon and who always admired my food posts on Facebook.  To Arnell who proudly shared with me the news of his first eight mile run while I was on vacation; I know he'll be ready for the half marathon in the Baltimore Running Festival in October.  Thanks also for the many stories about pets and studies and jobs and where we all came from.  To Jerome who started out unsure of himself but who has come into his own as a very fast runner who I don't expect to ever come in ahead of again.

Why am I stepping down as co-coach?  I still believe in the good that Back on My Feet does.  I will still stay involved.  I'll still be there as often as I can.  But I have so many things to balance right now that something had to give a little.  My immediate family at home will appreciate this.  Especially as we enter another school year and I continue to drive my high schooler to school nearly every day.  Not going to run with Back on My Feet quite as often in the mornings will ease the morning tensions a bit.

I titled the post my running "family" as I see the people I run with a lot more than I see anyone I'm related to by blood or marriage other than the people I live with.  And, I am blessed to have "two sides" of my running family.  The one side is Back on My Feet.  The other side comes from several training seasons of Charm City Run.  I see some members of that group more regularly as we still like to train together when we can.  I'll see a bunch of them at the 20 mile race in twelve days.  And I did join them for one evening track workout this summer.

Occasionally the "two sides" or my running family cross--at morning track workouts.  The workouts are dominated by people I know from Back on My Feet and some I know from Johns Hopkins.  Sometimes my Charm City Run companions will come out as well.  For track workouts--the more the merrier.

As I continue to run--for my own fitness, to achieve goals, as an opportunity to help my 7 and 13 year olds realize what they can do, for part of my socialization, for part of my volunteering, and for part of just a chance to see other people reach for and achieve their goals--I have to think about how to integrate the two sides of my family, with my own need for occasional solitude, with the needs of my immediate family.  Of course, the last (my immediate family) comes first.

As long as I let my conscience lead me it should work itself out.  And I count myself blessed to have so many wonderful opportunities for my immediate family and my running family that I have to choose how to balance them rather than having to ask "where is the good in my life?"  For that, I thank God every day.  

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