Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Training with Lauren on my mind

Lauren en route to 2nd place in the Navy/Air Force
Half Marathon in 1:21 in September
The week before Sandy Hook, I had a sudden loss of my own. A running friend of mine, Lauren Woodall Roady, was killed by an off-duty firetruck in Kentucky after competing in the SATF Club Cross Country National Championships. I first met her after a 5k in March, in which we both had PRs. She came in second and went sub-19, I came in fifth and went sub-20. We did a 3 mile cool down together and talked about runs we had done, life in DC, etc. Very nice girl, and had just joined the Georgetown Running Club racing team, a local competitive team. After that, I saw her at half a dozen DC races, in which she consistently achieved new PRs. When we met, her PRs were 18:55 for 5k, 41:46 for 10k, and 1:28:30 for the half marathon. In less than nine months, Lauren dropped those PRs to 17:53, 36:35, and 1:21:41. She was turning into an emerging elite quite quickly, and her hard work ethic was quickly paying of. While she was consistently faster than me, we had a lot in common and both were very engaged in DC running and happy to talk after races. While I don't know if we were quite friends, saying we were mere acquaintances diminishes that special relationship you build with fellow runners.
I was so sad to hear that she had passed away in such a tragic accident. This was a woman with such potential, both on the roads and off. Lauren was only a few months older than me, had recently gotten married, and had her whole future ahead of her. 
I've been thinking about Lauren a lot lately with the spring racing season right around the corner. Without a doubt, she would've been at a lot of the races on my schedule, and beat me handedly. 
I've had days when frankly, I didn't want to hop on the stationary bike at night after a long day or slog it out on the roads. I could easily skimp out, but Lauren has been on my mind a lot. Her dedication to running and training was admirable, and certainly worth of emulation and imitation. So, the days when I haven't been as anxious to work out, I offer my sessions up to her. She would've been out in the cold or the gym, striving for improvement. It's the least I can do for someone who was so passionate about this beautiful sport.

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