My favorites for the week:
1) Road ID Ankle: After trying hard to win a Road ID for several months I was ready to give up and just use one of my $2.00 off coupons when my best running partner Laura gave me a $15.00 gift certificate code! Sweet, she already has two Road ID's so she spread the love. I had the chance to try her Wrist ID Elite. It felt a little heavy for my liking so I decided to try the Ankle ID. I agonized over what to put on it but of course picking the color was easy, pink! I am happy to report that I love it. The Ankle ID is so light and I don't even notice it's on my ankle. There is also a nice reflective stripe on it so I'm more visible on my early morning road runs around my neighborhood. Now my hubby will have less worry about me during all the solo running I do.
2) Running Partners: In the past I always thought I preferred solo running. Last year I met Debbie, a mom I was acquainted with from a local moms' group, at a local 5k. At that race she introduced me to Old Runner, another local runner that runs in my area of town a lot. I ran into Old Runner and his wife at several races and started running with them from time to time. Debbie and I ran our first trail run together last year and I really enjoyed having someone to talk to during the race. At that race I ran into Kay, who I barely knew from another mom whose play dates I have been to. Kay and I both fell in love with trail racing that day and formed a new friendship because of trail running. Through Old Runner's attempt at starting a running club I found two other moms that like to run in the morning. Eventually I collected Laura, my most prized find to date, through the same moms' group I knew Debbie from. Laura had posted her blog on the moms' group wellness forum. From there I managed to sucker her into running with me and my two Wednesday running partners. It was clear after a few runs we were a perfect match. We have very similar speeds, I'm a tad faster but I've got 6 months of running on her, and the conversation was great! She lives close enough to me that getting together for a trail run is easy to do.
All my running buddies have their purpose, some multipurpose. Some I get to run with a lot, others only sometimes, and some I rarely see except at races. My Wednesday girls are my easy run day but for them I turn it into their speed work day. Laura is mostly my long run partner but we manage some weekday runs on occasion. She's also a fellow gear whore and does a lot of enabling in that department. Laura and I also now have a friendship outside of running! Such a huge bonus! I would love to run with Kay more, but sadly I mostly see her at races. But we do lots of chatting online and enabling each other with our trail running addiction. She's a speed demon compared to me so she keeps me motivated to become a better faster runner. Debbie is one I don't get to see enough but we do a lot of online encouraging and checking in with each other.
A year ago I would have told you that I don't like running partners for many reasons: I don't like to be distracted from my rhythm, I don't like having to coordinate, I don't want them slowing me down, blah, blah, blah. Now I'll tell you I love having some that slow me down and others that distract me. I go out of my way to coordinate with them so we can run together. I love that we share our joys, sorrows, and frustrations while we are out there. Running with someone creates a bond even if it's a person you would never have anything in common with in daily life. I learn a lot from my running partners about life and most importantly about myself. In them I see a reflection of me. I can look at my reflection in my collection of running partners and honestly say I am proud to be the person that I am!