|Me and Jenny in Jupiter, FL|
Thursday, March 8, 2012
My running partner
I tend to run alone, and that is usually fine. Running is often really good "me time" and I do great thinking while I’m on the road. I have rarely found someone who I can get into a running groove with, or someone who wants to run when I do. And that is normally no problem, but since running is sometimes my favorite part of the day, it would be nice to share those precious moments with someone.
I do have a semiannual running partner, my dear friend Jenny, who just visited in Florida for a mini-vacation! We met in 2009 and worked together for two summers. When we met, she was a swimmer and I was a runner, and we managed to rub off on each other in a very good way! Since then, I ran with her for her debut marathon (MCM 2010), and paced her for part of her BQ (MCM 2011), and she has got me swimming in the pool!
She is now a very dear friend of mine, and aside from running she is just very important to my life. So, I visited her and her family for a few days, and one of the greatest, purest delights was been the fact that we were able to get in some good runs in together.
This was the trail that we did some of runs on. Slightly sandy/gravely, no traffic to deal with, and just very pretty. Very different structure from my DC runs. My runs normally do go by fairly quickly, and I’m back before I know it, and returning to my busy life. But these were runs of swapping stories and remembering distant (and distance) runs together. We’ve run together up and down the East Coast: in NY, DC, and Florida. I’m sure we’ll expand westward and perhaps even out of the US at some point in some sort of destination race. But for now, we were content to have those little moments: an hour of sweat and stories.
In some ways, we are an unnatural pair. We are separated by over a decade, she has a family of her own, and I am just starting out in the professional world, she was trained as a swimmer, and I as a runner. She is a Floridian and succeeds in the heat, whereas I, the Yankee, thrive in cooler weather. But as polarizing as some of those opposites are, we are a pair that makes sense to us.
I had a fabulous trip. It felt like spring training. Nice weather, a mini vacation with not much to do other than train and relax. I have managed now for over a week to consistently get 8 hours of sleep, which is something I am finally learning how to do. You would think it would be so easy to just do that: after a day of running around (literarily), grading, reading, driving, and everything else, sleep would come naturally. But I’m not always good about it. Either I stay up too late, or wake up in the middle of the night. Yet lately, I have hit a groove in the sleeping realm, which I feel strangely proud of. And given that I am entering a cycle of back-to-back-to-back races, good sleep is absolutely essential. Race 1 is Saturday: Four Courts Four Miler. I am so excited. My last race, (my rust-buster Love the Run You’re With) was almost 4 weeks ago, and I am looking forward to getting out there in better weather conditions, with another month of good training under my belt, and testing out the wheels!
I’ve gone on and on for a while, so it is time for me to close. But it’s a good sign – I am happy and have a lot to chatter about. And I was sad to get on the plane today and hug my running partner goodbye. I know it will be awhile before I see Jenny again, but another road awaits us, and the knowledge of another path will keep us running until we run into each other again.