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.
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!