The pleasure of good company

February 1, 2008

(This months newsletter column)
Running, by nature, tends to be a solitary activity. Even if there are others around, we’re generally wrapped up in ourselves. “Oh, I’m getting tired” may be a common thought, but “he looks tired” isn’t so common. Even if we did think it, we couldn’t do anything about it, so we’d go back to our own thoughts and carry on.

For our Saturday morning group, for most of last year we were pretty much on our own. Every Saturday, we’d meet and run our individual distances, then take off until next week. Sure, there was some conversation before and after, on occasion some of us would go out for breakfast, but we were all pretty much wrapped up with our own runs.

However, lately it’s been different. We meet every Saturday just like we did before. We either head out on foot from the store, or pile into a couple of cars to drive somewhere for our run. Either way, there is plenty of socializing both before and after. Then a group member created a Yahoo group, and the conversations started continuing on all week. At some point, we started getting together for Sunday runs. We are planning races as teams, hopefully with custom team shirts. We even went bowling one weekend, families included. Lo and behold, we’ve become a community.

Sure, we still each run at our own pace, sometimes even alone, but we’re also with friends. As we split up on the trails and meet up again, it’s always with words of encouragement and a wave. If you’re thinking of joining a group, just do it. You may be surprised by what happens.

Note: Now, there may be some of you out there who are intimidated by the idea of joining our group. After all, we’re a running group, we must take this stuff seriously. The truth is, we’re just ordinary people who happen to enjoy this sport. We come in all shapes, sizes, and speeds. Come on by, introduce yourself, run with us. I’ll even bet that I’m slower than you.
The Runners Fit group


Group run in the wood

January 18, 2008

This morning the Runners Fit group headed off to Elachee/Chicopee Woods for a group run in the woods. 13 of us braved the cold (31 degrees) for this grand adventure.

After the caravan over there, I headed in one direction with my camera while everyone else ran the other way. (I know there is a joke in there somewhere!) The plan was for me to meet them at the suspension bridge for pictures, and I wanted to go the slightly shorter route to make sure I beat them. I barely did, by about 3 minutes.
Having barely time to set up, I started snapping away. Once everyone made it over, we paused for a group picture. Given that this meant people had to stop for about 5 minutes while everyone gathered, it went okay. After this, everyone quickly took off for the back 3 miles. I hung back with Mark to take the short route back.

GroupRun_20080105_0094About halfway back, I split up with Mark to wait for everyone on a straight downhill section I
noticed on the way up. Seemed like the perfect spot to pick up some more pictures. After going up and down it a couple times to stay warm get some exercise, I heard the leaders coming back and barely got turned around in time to meet them. Another 5 minutes of great shots later and everyone was done.

I packed up and headed back, last in line as usual.

I managed just under 4 miles, and about 175 shots. Highlights can be seen here.

Newfound Fame, almost

January 18, 2008

After my last post about running at the end of the year, I passed it on to Ryan while trying to find some email addresses. He read it, and was impressed and suggested I do a article for his monthly newsletter.

So, for the second time in my life, someone has read something of mine and wanted to do something with it. That’s pretty dang exciting. The first time, it was a technical article for a web magazine having to do with GPS’s and mapping. Cool stuff to me, but definitely a limited audience. This time, it’s a bit more accessible to everyone, since there’s no talk about computers or anything. (Well, maybe I’ll mention sites or something.)

The feedback so far has been good, and I think I’ll have a good time doing it.

Now, off to go edit pictures from this mornings run…

I Won!

December 2, 2007

Saturday (12/1), I ran in the Braselton 8K Race for Reading. Having been looking forward to this for a number of months, it was all as expected:

  • The course was as expected. (Having run it once before, there were no surprises.)
  • The timing was exceptional,. It was done by the Tennessee River Athletic Club, who came out from Alabama for this. Ryan knows these guys and wanted them to show the locals how a race should be run.
  • The food supply was plentiful. There was a snafu with the pizza, so it didn’t arrive until almost everyone was gone, but that’s okay. (Papa Johns was one of the sponsors, so they provided for us.)
  • The weather was perfect. Started off really cold, but it was fine once we started moving.

I started the morning hanging out with friends, both other runners and some of the volunteers. Once we started, I lost everyone, which was no surprise since they’re fast people. Then almost a mile in, I spotted the back of someones head who looked familiar. I caught up, and ended up running with Ryan and his friend Eleanor for the majority of the race. We had a good time joking around.

We (Ryan and Eleanor) hit the first mile at 9:48, which was about a minute and half faster than expected. Woohoo. Mile 2 was at 19:08 or something around there, and I was feeling good. Another gal was with us the whole time, but I don’t know her name.

Knowing a lot of the people working the timing stations, we had a good time joking. An ongoing joke for the whole thing was that I wanted to win in my category. This started because a person was upset about the age group categories, so I asked for a “38 yo Clydesdale run/walker” division. So, as I passed people, they would yell out “First in the Clydesdale…” or some-such nonsense.

As we finished the last turn, I saw the clock read 49:22 and I thought “Wow! I can make it in under 50!” So I sprinted to the finish for a 49:48 time! A PR, and I won in my (own) division. In their divisions, I came in 12/15, which is also cool since I’m usually last in my age group.

I’d definitely recommend this race, and if Runners Fit starts timing races, they’ll be good.