1. a feeling of good friendship among the people in a group
Barring any issues, my running partner, Kirsten, and I typically train for races (anything from the 5K to the marathon) together from early September through late May. We've been at it, on and off, for the past six years or so. There is absolutely no question that it's a hell of a lot easier, both mentally and physically, to stay upbeat and driven when you have someone to do the work with, so I consider myself very lucky. In the summer, much to my dismay, we tend to go our separate ways as our family plans rarely line up. Knowing that it's short-lived makes it easier to accept, but it still kind of sucks. Training for a marathon is tough no matter what. But, training for a marathon in the summer and on your own, well, let's just say there have been a lot of days where I have really, REALLY, struggled to motivate. This past Sunday, I had to get 20 miles in and to my good fortune Kirsten had just returned from a trip that previous Friday so she could join me. Hallelujah! I've tackled seven 15+ milers since June and, for obvious reasons, this was by far the best one. No joke, we chatted for the entire three (yes, 3) hours and before I knew it, we were done. It doesn't get any better than that as far as long runs go. All that said, however, I recently had an A-HA! moment. When I look back on my summer training, most of my best/favorite/most fun runs have been with various family members, friends and/or teammates. Thankfully, even though Kirsten wasn't around, I was able to rally quite a few others to join me here and there, thus making those long patches of solo training in between significantly more bearable. People often ask me why I continue to train year after year, day in and day out. There are quite a few reasons actually. But, what I love the most, and likely the biggest reason behind why I stick with it is due to the camaraderie of the sport. Whether training or racing you can almost always find someone who is game to join you. And regardless of whether it's just two of us cruising for several slow, easy miles or a whole group of us going all out for a race, it's almost always fun (or funny) in some way. People also often ask me when I think I might stop training, at least at my current level. And, my typical response is, I'll probably stop when I'm no longer having fun. As you can see below, I'm still having a damn good time!
TOP 5 RUNS OF THE SUMMER
13 miler w/ my Oiselle teammates
NE BIRDCAMP (Camp Foss)
1. Group run at Oiselle Northeast Birdcamp. This was our second run of the day and I almost bailed because I was so tired. Thankfully, I found enough energy to join in because it was amazing. Such good people and positive energy.
Long run w/ Locky
2. I hadn't run long with a friend in weeks so I was beyond thrilled to run 16 with my sister-in-law. So what if it was 80 degrees and ridiculously humid. We still had a good time. Sort of. Mostly when we were done and enjoying our coffees. But still.
8 mile cruiser w/ Dave Ames
3. Met up with my friend, Dave, for a jaunt through the city. Always fun to get a run in near the Boston course. We pretend to take ourselves seriously. And then we spend the entire time making fun of each other. Needless to say, our runs go by pretty quickly.
4. Okay, this run actually sucked. Like top 10 worst ever. BUT, I did love hanging out with my Skechers teammates. It's an awesome group of gals and, race aside, we shared some good laughs. I'm still laughing.
20 Miler w/ Kirsten
5. And last, but not least, was the 20 miler that Kirsten and I just did this past Sunday. It was hot, we were tired, we were stupidly thirsty from mile 15 on. And, yes, it was awesome.
Listen to this:
We'll Never Be Alone - Believe In Giants (feat. Lucy Rose)