I guess when I used to think about running I thought of it as an individual sport. I was wrong. These past few months of training has made it crystal clear.
I have trained for all 7 of my previous marathons with Jeff Arricale. At the end of the Spring marathon season Jeff let me know he was taking a break. The training has not been the same. Having a partner to run the long Saturday runs with makes a huge difference. When you run with a partner you push each other to run faster even if you don’t feel like it. You make it out to the start of the run with purpose. I find myself running slower this training. I think a lot of it is that I don’t have anyone to keep up with. I am running Chicago next month and have no clue what my time will be.
On the flip side other running friends are helping me out. Juda’s Tuesday track nights introduced me to a group of pretty decent runners and had me doing organized speed work. Mean Jeanne the BOMF running machine and I have become closer this season and have done some of our own track workouts followed by a cup of coffee and some conversation at Starbuck’s. Katie from Charm City Run joined me for some of my last runs around the Baltimore harbor and showed me how fast she really is when she finishes 20 mile runs 30 minutes in front of me. My friend Brodie and I reconnected with in the crowd of runners at the Maryland 1/2 Marathon. Brodie came up from Silver Spring early in the morning to Baltimore for the Charm City Run NCR trail 20 Miler last weekend to run it with me. Brodie is a much faster runner than me. I really appreciate that he stayed by my side giving me encouragement the entire time. Thanks Brodie.
Once I realized that travel to the Montreal Marathon was going to be prohibitive, Katie let me know she knew someone that had extra rooms reserved in Chicago for the marathon weekend. Jeff had an extra bib for Chicago. Everything fell into place and now I will be running the Chicago marathon. Awesome.
One other set of friends that have helped out are all the people I virtually run with on Dailymile.com. So I guess I did not train all by myself for this Falls race; I had a lot of help.
PS – I found out that I did not make the wait list cut offs for the North Face Challenge 50k. Might be a blessing in disguise. I am really looking forward to Chicago.