I think I mentioned a couple of weeks/posts ago that I've been running with some local friends.
It is awesome.
Ever since I started running I wanted to have someone in my neighborhood to run with. I'd run to the window whenever I saw someone pass the house. I stalked someone who turned out to be a teenager. I scanned the local race results for people who lived in my neighborhood. No, I'm not kidding. My happy runner friend started a facebook group for us but there were mostly people from her neck of the woods. And then one day there was a whole boatload of people from mine. But I was pregnant and barely running so the timing just wasn't right. I've been back to running for serious for a few months now and in a rare case of "things working out" I signed the Princess up for Girl Scouts, the Girl Scout leader is a runner, the Girl Scout leader was added to the facebook group I'm in, we both signed up for the local half marathon next fall and she added me to her neighborhood runs. I have to drive there but it takes me 5 minutes, 7-8 if there's a car in front of me. I've run with her neighborhood posse quite a few times now and I repeat:
It is awesome.
Last Sunday I planned on running 5.5 miles (because that's what my refrigerator said) but the group was running 8 and I didn't feel like turning around and running on my own. So I said "Why not?" and ran 7.8 with them. The longest distance I've run since having Lightrunner. And the longest distance I've run without stopping for a walk break EVER. EVER. I have never run over 5.5 miles without walking. And I ran 7.8! AND part of the last mile included a hill, not a major hill, but a decent hill, and I SPED UP and ran up the hill on my tired legs. There is no way I could have done that without my friend (the Girl Scout leader) by my side. None. Especially not at the end of the longest run I've done in over a year. I'm not sure if she truly knows how much I needed her next to me and how very grateful I am that she was there.
It was amazing.
Equally as amazing, I got up at 4:40 this morning and joined them for a 5:15 run. The moon was still out. The sun was not. It was cold and dark and I was tired but I knew these people were there waiting and I made myself get out of bed--no snooze button today--and I did it. I hadn't had my tea or pumped or fed Lightrunner, but I got out there and just being there was SO GOOD. There were seven of us pounding the pavement in the wee hours of the morning. I keep picturing what we must have looked like to people who happened to be up early and glancing out their windows... a pack of talking laughing women running in the moonlight, drawing strength from each other, pushing each other to just keep going.
I have no doubt in my mind that I will run the half marathon, that I can do it, and that I'll cross the finish line with these special ladies. And hopefully many more.