Shout Out to Training Partners

by klassman

I’m just back from a run and due to make lunch for the tribe.

This morning it was 24 degrees and according to the experts at weather.com, it felt like 12.  Last night, I bagged out on the run.  I had put on tights, wool socks and the first layer for the torso but then found all manner of excuses not to go out and get started.  It was no warmer today, but the sunshine made all the difference in my motivation.

I guess I can run in the dark and I can run in the cold but the combination is too often overwhelming to my mojo.

There has been a lot of bagging out on runs lately.  In fact, before this morning it has been 11 days with no running.  If consistency is the key to endurance training, I’ve been consistently doing the wrong thing.  Weather, work, a trip out of town for a funeral, busy schedule at home, weather — the excuses are too familiar.

Today’s run was not special in the traditional sense.  Just a hair under seven miles at an average 8:19 per mile pace, it was unremarkable excepting the stroke of good fortune that came my way.  At the turnaround, I commented silently to myself that today is the kind of day that calls for a training partner.  I was finally overcoming the excuse machine of my own head and doing something, but the quality of the run itself was not that great.  In addition to the mediocre physical output, I had spent the first 25 minutes bitching in my own head about the wind, about the freezing sweat on the back of my neck, about the Dutch Oven effect created by my fleece facemask as I breathed out the fumes of a sausage and egg breakfast.  I think I’d rather have a bad session according to the physical numbers than a bad session where I reinforce all manner of negative thoughts and attitudes toward exercise.  Yet, here I was doing both.

Then part way home I passed a woman covered head to toe — just like me.  A fleece hat and face covering, large glasses, jacket, gloves, and tights obscured all identity.  Except, as we passed, she called out, “Is that Kent?”

It was my friend Kirby from the NOVA Running Club.  She turned around immediately and ran with me.  My spirits lifted.  She chatted.  I sped up just a bit to keep pace and soon enough we had covered about two miles before we parted and I was nearly home.

She invited me out with a couple of the other regulars from the track to run 15 miles tomorrow.  I declined but with a lifted heart and a smile.  Good fortune found me today and brought me that training partner right when I needed it.

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