Monday, May 30, 2011

A Good Run With a Good Friend

I ran nine miles with my friend, Michelle, on Sunday morning. She's several years younger than me and not currently training for a marathon. She also can glide along at a much better pace than I can, but still she agreed to go on a run with me and I was glad to have the company.

The eighteen-week marathon training plan I use totals about 640 miles. Times three over the past two years comes to just about two thousand miles. And that doesn't count the distance I do when I'm not training for a specific event so let's add another thousand or so to the total.

In all of that time and distance I think I have been alone for all of the miles but.... nine.

Okay, maybe that's a tiny stretch. I actually ran with Michelle for a few miles when we happened to meet each other on the local trail once by accident. I also ran with another friend in a group training run, but she quickly outpaced me to catch a faster group. And once I fell in with a guy in that training group who had a pace similar to mine, but he dropped out after that one run never to return.

And so, with little exaggeration, about 99.7% of the time I run alone. I actually don't mind doing so. There has been a lot to think about: some of it complicated, some of it exciting, some of it sad. And I listen to music or books most of the time so I'm not totally absorbed in the sound of my feet slapping the pavement. I also like the mental challenge that running alone and testing my limits brings.

But, man was it nice to have someone to talk to. And, man, did the miles go by a lot faster. Years ago, when I was cycling for fitness, I rode with my good friend, Tom, who was perfectly compatible with me. Our hours in the saddle just flew by whether we were talking or had nothing to say. I forgot how much I enjoyed that rhythm and I realize how hard it is to find someone that  you feel that connected to.

For a few miles I was that connected again. Thanks, Michelle.

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