Getting a little more JOLLY, a little more GREEN, and a little less GIANT.

04 March 2013

Social Running or How One Gets Through 14 Miles with a Smile on One's Face

L to R: Kathy, Evelyn (me!), Teresa, Jacy, Heidi, Dave, and Ethan (12 years old!)
I never thought I would be someone who enjoys running with other people. Of course...I never thought I would be someone who enjoys running PERIOD. But look at me now! Gettin' all social while gettin' all sweaty, and stinky, and huffy. I LOVE IT!

Running socially is a fantastic way to make the time and miles (almost) blissfully pass. Instead of staring mindlessly at my GPS app or desperately searching through Pandora stations for the perfect music to give me that needed boost, I'm chatting away with friends about music or food or running gear or goofy kids or spirituality or gardening or whatever! Behold the power of distraction!

My Facebook running group is one of my happy places on the internet. It's a place where I've been able to ask a lot of questions and voice frustrations or just brag to a group of people who understand the little triumphs in the life of a mom/runner. It has also become a place to find local running companions.

I must admit that, initially, the idea of meeting "strangers" to complete such physical tasks with was unpleasant. Anxiety would set in as the date for the meet-up would draw nearer. Racing heart, sweaty palms, dry mouth. It was kind of like dating all over again. But every meet-up has been positive thus far and I'm happy to report that the anxiety is diminishing with each new encounter.

On Saturday seven of us met up for a run. Five were from the FB group, along with one son, and one friend. A few people I had previously ran with and a few were new to me. All of the rest of the group didn't need to cover the 14 miles that was on my training schedule so I left my house an hour or so early and clocked in almost 7 miles before meeting up with everybody else. Then we covered an additional 7 miles together leaving me only half a mile to complete my 14. They stretched while I finished my half mile and then cheered and high-fived me as I achieved a new personal record, my longest run to date!

14 miles!! (My previous longest run was the 13.1 miles I did during my first half marathon in September 2012.)

And now I'm pretty sure I can cure cancer or solve world hunger. Or maybe, even possibly, just might be able to run a full marathon.

Running socially is definitely how one gets through 14 miles with a smile on one's face. Here's to many more long runs with sweaty friends!

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