Saturday, October 16, 2010

In praise of running friends

This morning was my last long run before the NYC Marathon (22 days, not that I’m counting). My plan was to do 18 miles, and I knew I wouldn’t make it on my own.

On Thursday, I sent out an e-mail to the Running Chicks, as B calls them, asking for company. And I am so glad I did; I had company for every step of the 18 miles. And what’s more, I actually had a lot of fun while we ran.

One friend met me at 5:00 am for an early start. We ran 2.5 miles as a warm up and then met two other friends at the Rock at 5:30. The four of us did the five-mile loop at the Trail and made it to the Rock in time to meet up with four more friends. We decided to run the seven-mile loop – it’s the first time I’ve done that loop in years. One friend, the one who met me at 5:00, peeled off for the five-mile loop, but the rest of us pushed on.

I had one scary moment when I took a tumble on a curb along Riverside Drive. Fortunately, other than a banged up shoulder, I’m fine. But as I fell I had visions of my goal of running NYC being dashed by falling on a run.

As we ran along the north side of the Trail, one friend came up with the brilliant plan of running up Congress past the Capitol and to one of the dorms on the UT campus for water. The detour added about three miles to our run, which meant that when we got back to the Rock, we wouldn’t need to do another loop on the Trail. While I don’t like running UP Congress Ave., I love running down it. The ever-so-slight decline makes me feel very speedy.

I finished up feeling amazingly strong considering my mileage. I tacked on one little half-mile loop at the end, just to make sure I had gone the full distance, and one friend, who is doing the Panama City IronMan the same weekend as NYC, ran the last loop with me. She pointed out that my form was good, I was able to talk, and I was holding a pretty good pace. Her reassurances really helped me.

As strange as it may sound, I had a blast on this morning’s run, and my running friends are what made it fun for me. If I had been alone for even part of the distance, it would have been a very, very different experience.

Thank you J, K, A, S, M, C, and H. You carried me through the miles.


Baino said...

Ah you make me feel so lazy. I'm glad you get so much enjoyment out of it thought. Just started a weight-loss exercise regime and I'm hoping I come to love it, bloody hate it right now.

Miles McClagan said...

I can't run at all, it's to my eternal detriment. My shins explode...

I envy you and you running skills!

Alexandra said...

I am so crazy jealous about you right now.

But proud, impressed, and happy for you, too.

Susan said...

I love the idea of running (and gym) buddies. It makes it all much more celebratory and less a chore to complete.