Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Regaining some structure

I don't think I've mentioned lately (oh, in the past week or so) how much I miss Pam and how much I miss our regular after work runs. For many years we ran twice each week, either Monday/Thursday or Tuesday/Thursday. It was unusual for us to cancel a run, normally only if one of us was out of town or if the weather was too horrible even for a short run. I wasn't able to run for most of the beginning of this year due to knee (then back) problems, and by the time I was able to throw out a few miles she had deserted us moved away. Olivia had joined Pam while I was on injured reserve and we continued running together on a regular, although somewhat sporadic, basis this fall.

When Olivia told me she was joining the TnT marathon team this winter I felt deserted again worried because I know how bad I am at running alone. I decided to crash her buddy runs, just to get my ass out the door. So far the commitment has held. My first run with her group wasn't great because my speed was right in the middle (again) and I ended up walking with one of the participants. I enjoyed the company but it was not the workout I needed. I returned again after deciding that even if I ran alone, there would still be people out there on the trail who would notice if I disappeared and would probably look for me if I fell in the canal or something.

The run isn't very convenient for me; I need to stay at work late or find some way to amuse myself for a couple of hours beforehand, since driving back and forth is a waste of time and gas. I've been able to talk myself into staying in the office for the past few weeks and I'm glad I did.

There's a good sized group that meets with people of varying speeds. I've been able to find someone to run with, and for the short time I ran alone I didn't feel at all creeped out by the darkness and isolation. I had a great run last night, still short because their mileage doesn't increase until next week. It was just over 5k and I felt very comfortable with my pace. I did my sprint at the end, my token speedwork, and that was the only time I was breathless. I wanted more time out there, more mileage. I felt warm, invigorated, healthy.

That's why I run, and that's why I'll be crashing the run on a regular basis.

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