Running

Running Solo

I have to be honest, I was a bit of a slacker this week and only ran twice including my long run last Saturday. I blame seeing Dave Matthews Band on Wed night instead of running but it was such an amazing experience and my first time seeing him live. I still managed to increase my long run mileage by 2 miles this morning though, and completed 14 total in 2:10! Sometimes I think when I take a few days off, I have stronger runs because I feel refreshed and ready to go. Thanks, Dave!

For the my last two marathons, I trained and traveled with a close friend of mine, Lee. While she always smokes me on race day (her PR is 3:55 while mine is 4:18) we were perfect training partners. I’d go out of the gate too fast and get us going and she always pulled me through the end of our runs. We also established a routine of chatting and catching up for about half of our long run, and then I would put in my headphones to zone out and she would enjoy the sounds of nature for the second half. Unfortunately, she has a stress fracture in her foot and won’t be running Outer Banks with me 😦 Which means no partner right now for my training runs which is definitely a challenge for me.

With Lee after finishing the Steamtown marathon
There are a few running groups in the Tampa Bay area and I know I could hook up with them but I really love having one person to run with. Meeting one person also holds me accountable to get up at 5am when my alarm goes off, instead of rolling back over like I want to do.  I’ve definitely been dreading getting through Saturday training runs since Lee got the news and I’ll admit I even thought about dropping down to the half in November. But then I remind myself that I’m a fighter and have always enjoyed a challenge. And forcing myself to finish these longer runs when I’m out there on my own is definitely challenging! But I think it will be good for me too; race day is always an individual event, and knowing I made it through the training season solo will probably make me mentally stronger race day.

And of course in Tampa Bay, you’re never really running alone. One of the things I love the most about running here is that there are so many other athletes out. I saw a large group of runners from the Run Tampa group this morning; I actually started from the same spot and at the same time they did, though not intentionally. And I saw another friend of mine running toward me as I neared my halfway mark and we exchanged a quick and motivating high five. Lee and I frequently ran with the Blue Sharks running group, which meets every Saturday at Davis Island at 5:30 starting mid-August. I’ll definitely be joining them for some of my longer runs.

One of my favorite groups to run with is the Brandon Running Association. I have made some amazing friends since I first started running with BRA over a year ago. The only drawback for me is the drive since most of their runs are based out of Brandon, a neighboring city. And it’s not so much the drive that’s the issue, it’s the fact that I’d lose another 20 minutes of sleep on Saturday mornings! They generally complete a 10 mile route on Saturday but I don’t know of anyone else in their group currently training for a marathon so I’d be stuck getting my additional miles on my own. I’m afraid that once I finished the 10 with everyone I would decide that was enough and not get the actual training mileage I need in! But I’m sure I’ll be joining them for some of my training runs this summer when I decide can’t handle anymore solo runs. So for now, I’m running solo. . . but not really!

3 thoughts on “Running Solo”

  1. Aw, this makes me so happy and a little sad. I can't wait to be able to run with you again, but in the meantime, I'm so proud of how well you're doing on your own. You're going to do so great at the marathon. And after that, you won't even feel like running with me, but I'm going to drag you out anyway!

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  2. Thanks, Lee! Trust me, I can't wait to start running with you again 🙂 And I'm proud of you, for how much swimming and biking you're doing now instead of letting this hold you back. We need to sign up for a triathlon next year!

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  3. Awww! This is a great post. Love the pic of you two at Steamtown! That is the best part of running – the friends you meet along the way. Even if you don't get to run together every time, you never forget the times you did. =)Maybe soon B.R.A. (or some of us) will take a 'field trip' to Tampa to run with Blue Sharks too!

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