Running Groups, Partners and Family
I started my running life as a loner (this is not to say my family did not help, they just did not run with me at the time), running hours at a time with only my Ipod and my crazy thoughts to entertain myself...
I remember my first really long run (okay - at one point one mile was a very long run, but that's another story). I woke up early and ran from my house toward the Cooper River Bridge for a three mile run. I made it to the turnaround point feeling good and had extra time so I kept running. I passed the three mile mark and realized I was getting really close to the Bridge, so I kept running (this really sounds like Forest Gump right now). When I reached the Bridge I knew I was at four miles (crap, I had to run back)! When I finally made it back to my house I felt incredible! It was the beginning of my long distance running.
I used Google Maps to figure out routes long enough for my runs and would wake up early to drive the route in order to find places to drop water bottles. I read a book about running long distance and tried to emulate the training (although I had no idea what it meant by tempo runs, intervals, track workout and a bunch of other crazy runner stuff).
My runs got longer and longer as I moved from the half marathon to the full marathon. My wife and son started to drive out to the islands and bring me water, but I spent hours alone running those roads, counting the street signs (I think the streets are numbered just for this reason).
One day I ran with a group from TrySports. This was my first real group run and I was terrified. I had run three half marathons and a full marathon, but I still did not consider myself a runner and running groups are for runners (right?)...
The group was large enough to have about three pace groups. People greeted me and welcomed me to the run. They talked about the route and then we just started running. I had my Ipod with me and was about to turn it on, but a guy was talking to me and I thought it would be rude (what was he thinking - talking while running).
|Trail Running with the Saturday Morning Group|
|2011 Mud Run|
|2011 Bulldog Challenge|
My newest running partner is my wife. In the past few months I have had the chance to run with her on some of her long runs. She knows that her pace is slower than mine and is always telling me I can run ahead, but running at a different pace is such a small thing compared to sharing something I love with someone I love.
It took a while for my wife to ease into her pace and relax, but I think she was enjoying having company on her longest run.
|Jen and I on a Long Run|
I still do most of my runs alone, but the time I get to spend with my running group is very valuable to me and the time I get to spend with my running family is priceless...