Monday, December 10, 2012
I had signed up for a race last Saturday that was to be my swan song. In talking to a friend, he wished me luck and hoped the "breakup sex" would be great. I laughed. Good way to think about it. Yeah, maybe.
Well, he was right. It was amazing; exhilarating even. It was as if we had just met for the first time (although I usually don't have sex on the first date.) I saw a side of running I hadn't seen before, and I think it saw a new side of me. We decided to give our relationship another chance.
This time, though, I knew I would need reinforcements if this was going to work. Here's where the power of social media comes in. I'm chatting with my friend who is currently in Kuwait, and he hooks me up with a friend of his who is in this group, Sole Sisters. This motivated group is comprised of women of all fitness levels who have one thing in common - they're all in love with running (or at least like it a lot.) I emailed his friend to find out more.
They meet weekly (religiously) and it's easy to find someone looking for a running buddy on their Facebook page throughout the week. Some of them are marathoners who have been running for years; others are in training, and still others (like me) are relative newbies. Their December route (brrrr) was in an area where I used to live and I knew I could do it, so I took a deep breath and walked into the designated meeting place to see if I could hang with this bunch of speedy strangers.
There were a few other newcomers and as they welcomed us they passed around a signup sheet with paces on it (anywhere from an eight to 13 minute mile, etc., even walk/jog and walk). Not sure of my hill running abilities given the course, nor wanting to crap out after two miles, I signed up for a 12 minute pace and was assigned a "running leader" who assured me that I would not be left behind in the dark.
We set off, and were soon joined by a third runner in our group. I was surprised at how much easier it seemed to be to keep going when you had two others running with you. Stop? No such word. Hills? No problem. The conversation, though breathless, was great as I got to know these two motivated mommas. One had already conquered her first marathon (she was my leader, so had slowed down considerably to help me out) and the other a mom who was just getting back in the game after having a child.
OK, so I fit in somewhere between "marathoner" and "just gave birth." I'll take that. We ran four miles, hills and all, in the dark. (They had reflective gear and headlamps - I had nuthin'. Stupid newbie.) At the end of the night, I felt accomplished and rejuvenated with the hope that this running thing might just work.
In fact, we're planning on ringing in the new year together at the 2013 Resolution Run, with my goal for 2013 being to run a quarter marathon (that's half of a half, for all you English majors) in April at the Height Half Marathon & Relay and again in May at Run River City. I'm not going to put the cart too far before the horse, but if this gets serious, you could see me doing a half marathon... someday. Maybe. We're taking it slow. But if I play my cards right, I could log 500 miles in 2013.
Running, I may just be smitten with you. Thanks for giving it another shot. Let's try to stay together this time.