Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Saturday run that wasn't

It's been many, many weeks since I've been out with my regular Saturday running group. The Java Joggers have been my constant in the three and a half years I've lived here in Fayetteville; I found them via a Google search when we were checking out the area, and they welcomed me warmly and graciously as runners tend to do.

With multiple injuries over the last 18 months, I haven't been as consistently faithful to the weekend runs as I was in the lead up to my Boston qualifying attempt in Houston. In fact, I would go so far as to say I even experienced a little bit of burnout after my back-from-rehab marathon this past January. But there certainly was a long stretch of time where those Saturday runs were on the calendar, rain or shine; wind or snow; heat or bone-chilling cold.

These recent weeks have seen my return to running after a broken foot in March and then some lingering, nagging hip pain. I finally got that seen to, and am back in a ramp-it-up running routine that includes four mile runs on a few weekday mornings. Finally, this morning, it also included my return to the Java Joggers, planning a little over 6 miles on the Hobby Lobby loop with my best good friends.

Mother Nature had other plans, though - I saw the thunder and lightning as I struggled to keep my eyes open in between hitting the snooze button; I hopped up and sent a text to check if we were still on. As is typical, the west-side-Fayetteville weather was nothing like the east-side-Fayetteville weather, and we all agreed rain or no rain, we'd head on over to Starbucks and go from there.

We stepped off in a light rain, and before Mary and Hank (her canine running companion) could catch up from a sniff-and-pee break, the heavens had opened up. We stood under the overhang at Home Depot until they caught up and made an instant group decision - turn it around, we're going back for coffee!!
Hobby Loop turned into the Home Depot sprint interval workout!
Note the weather on the left ... and the obvious turnaround point on the right!
It probably would've been good to get a run in, but honestly, the reason I so look forward to those runs is because of the time I get to spend with my friends. Shauna, Mary, Macey and I were the first ones back (that tends to happen when you only run a half mile), so we got our coffee, then sat and laughed and talked and recounted the events of the week. We four women range from a U of A sophomore to a U of A professor to a fitness instructor to my crazy life, and the stories are endless.

The guys got back a few at a time (they did run in the pouring rain, as if additional evidence was needed to prove that women truly are the more intelligent of our species), and they joined us around the table. We talked about plans to ride on Sunday and Monday; relaxing over Labor Day weekend; and saw another good friend who's moved away with the Marines but came home for the holiday. Our Starbucks truly is our local coffee shop, and they don't mind a bunch of wet, stinky runners who spend an hour laughing too loudly and telling the same jokes a few times with each returning runner, because they're too good to only tell once.

Today was the run that wasn't, but that's okay. I'm not as hard core as I was a couple of years ago; I'm not training for a race; I don't have a plan that I have to stick to no matter what. I got to spend an hour with my best good friends, and that's the spirit of the run, anyway.

1 comment:

  1. What fun! Keep yourself in good shape--no need to run on a bad hip!