Monday, September 7, 2015

A Weekend of Running

Over the past three days of the long weekend, I've run 37.8 miles.

I didn't run the Charles St. 12, but I am glad for everyone who did.

I didn't participate in any of the local 5K's--color run or otherwise.  But I am glad for everyone who did.

I did get a chance to do 2/3 of one of the runs (6.4 of the 9.8) with one of the closest members of my "running family" and about half of the miles (18 of the total) with another of the closest members of my running family.  And those are worth way more than any race.  Of course, I am training for races with both of them.  And I will run side by side with at least one of the two this fall.

I did get a chance to experience the fellowship of runners.  After the 6.4 miles on Saturday morning, we joined the Back on My Feet groups from Baltimore who were meeting at Christopher's Place, recited the Serenity Prayer, and then took off.  She for many more miles on Saturday.  Me for just another 0.9 on Saturday morning.

The fellowship continued when I circled back to Christopher's place sooner than any other runner did (I was done after just 0.9 more miles as I'd preceded my run with Lauren by 2.5 to warm up.)  I had the opportunity to speak with someone I had not had more than 30 seconds to say hello to in quite some time.  That was cool.  I got to hear about her completing 33.4 miles.  And talk about my plans for 56.

I did get a chance to share vulnerability with my running family.  Making goofy comments like noting the athleticism of rats as they jump incredibly high.  What does this tell me?  Either I have a very tolerant running mate who doesn't mind delirious comments at 5:30 on a Saturday morning by the harbor or that our friendship is strong enough to just take in those types of crazy comments.  On Sunday, I led my training partner from Timonium to Towson U, down Charles Street to Guilford where we talked about house envy, and then back over some demanding hills.  We made two pit stops with her complaining of some stomach issues and she tripped for the first time when I've been running with her in almost five years.  She was a trooper and finished.  She also shared her new nose piercing.  For the two of us who were pretty straight-laced when we met in the fall of 2010 to now have one of us with a big tattoo and the other with a nose piercing is pretty big.  Both are pretty main stream these days but I'm not sure either would have imagined the other doing that when we first me.

Finally, this morning I ran alone.  Sometimes those types of runs are great.  This was no exception.  I ran a slow and easy 8:50 pace.  At one point I was running in the bike lane against traffic.  I saw a bicyclist coming.  I quickly went up onto the grass and had a short "cross country-like" run on the grass and among the trees just south of the golf course that borders Lake Avenue.  The cyclist actually waved and said "thank you!"  I didn't think I needed thanks, but it was great to hear.

And, finally, today, I celebrated one year since the passing of an incredible runner.  She ran 50 races in the year starting when she turned 49 and leading up to when she turned 50.  Her favorite line was "finish lines not finish times."  Today's run (with my slow pace) showed that quite a bit.  My 56 miler will be about the finish line--and somewhat about the time.  She just embodied the spirit of running and encouragement. I met numerous people after I met her and they have become good online friends over the past year.

I look forward to what running will continue to bring me.

This was also a great weekend with family--cleaning that was long overdue.  Two dinners on the grill.  No meals out.  No real travels.  Just enjoying life together.

What more could I ask for in a weekend of running and Labor Day weekend in general?

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