I took up running and blogging in the same week in 2008.
It was the end of April and I remember it being a particularly warm spring. The running was almost as happenstance as the blogging. Neither was pre-planned. I did one, and the other just happened as a way to brag about my
EPIC ACCOMPLISHMENT also known as a 36ish minute 5K.
After the 5K I jumped up to a Half Marathon, and dropped 10 pounds. I gained confidence with the weight loss, and found some women to run with on Saturdays.
And somewhere in all this, I started to really love this sport to the point where I didn’t have to run with people all the time in order to knock back some bigger mileage. I liked running alone. I felt empowered by the solo 8 miler I ran every week while training for my first marathon. Even now, thinking back on it, I can taste the pride like the remembered flavor of a syrupy fountain drawn cherry coke. Some things stay with you forever.
At the same time, I was no fool. I knew better than to run more than 12 or so miles alone. I had a good friend who was training for RVA Marathon ‘09 who was almost the same pace as I was, and we ran every single long run together from August to Race Day. Every single one.
Together we ran and were stronger.
Together we ran and got lost but at least we were together in the middle of Ashland.
Together we ran out of water and had an epically bad 20 miler that bordered on dangerous.
My blog evolved as a way to share my run love, as well as these disastrous/brilliant stories. I was a love sick crack-head and I lived to tell anyone who would listen that the marathon is not for wuss’s, and by the way, no one who reads my blog is a wuss.
Anyone who believes they can do this, and is willing to put in the time, can do this.
I am a marathoner, I would know.
The following year my running mate and I had different goals. I had a second marathon to run in Richmond, and she no marathon ambitions. We quickly realized our “train as a duo” plan was flawed if we weren’t lined up to do the same type of event.
And that is how I came to run with Sports Backers Marathon Training Team. I needed a back up band, or at the very least a tambourine player, for my solo tour.
Since joining MTT I’ve grown as a runner in numerous ways. If success was only measured in the number of minutes subtracted from my previous PR’s, I would be quick to point out that I’m almost an hour faster in the marathon.
But for me, the real value of MTT has nothing to do with pace, speed, and number of marathon successes. It’s measured in people.
People I trust, people I consider friends, and people I have never met but will run 20 miles with on any given Sunday in October.
We mix and we mingle, we sweat and we laugh, and we laugh at ourselves, and any number of private jokes. “CHICKEN BONE!” Sometimes we are serious and wonder if today is that day where we’re going to have to give a fellow runner CPR, or we are all ears as we listen to our friend’s vent. Most of the time we are light and conjure positive thoughts that we hope will carry us through the tough times on Race Day. “This ain’t no Country Club... this is R.V.A.”
Even with all that positive run love MTT happiness in my heart, I knew that this year, 2012, was not going to be my year. I had decided for a number of personal reasons not to run the Richmond Marathon.
It's just, the more I thought about that crisp morning in November, and the city I love so much, the sadder I became.
Where would I be standing on race day when runners stood huddled together in the start corral? At home watching NBC12, at a water stop pouring a little water in every cup, or out on the road pressed shoulder to shoulder with those excited athletes while the brown leaves tumble among our feet?
Richmond Marathon is my hometown race. How could I possibly not run my hometown race?
I am a marathoner.
And so I’ve decided.
I’m going to Run Richmond.
Maybe I race it. Or maybe I run it. Either way, on November 10, 2012, I know where I plan to be.
Come join me? MTT starts in less than a month.