“So do you want to go to a winery that weekend?” My friend asked as we downed a beer at our local brewery.
“I want to, but I have a race that weekend.” I said.“Races, races, races, you’re always running.”
Fridays are for the girls, at least for now. Every Friday the cross country coach, winter track coach and I go to a farm to table brewery to calm down after a long week. It’s inevitable that running comes up as a conversation. While coaching track, and coaching jumping are there fortes they do not run distance.
I constantly talk about races I have done, places I have traveled, places I am going and they listen. They listen to me talk about the highs and lows of marathons, the pain of 10ks and coaching others. The beauty of running is when you talk about it enough people around you listen, and want to feel everything you are talking about for themselves.
Well it finally happened. My two drinking buddies, former college athletes, want to run again. It started slowly. The cross country coach decided that she wanted to run a 5k, maybe a 10k, but I pushed it to half. We sat down and talked. We talked about goals, abilities, fueling and beer. We talked about the best location, should she travel, she should ask someone else to run with her. Then we decided on the RunAPaloza in Asbury park. A half marathon that I have ran several times. Flat, near the beach, and a great beer garden after and I will pace her to her goal of a sub two hour half.
While we talked the winter track coach listened. She used to be a runner but some health issues kept her off her feet. “Do you think we could all do a 5k together?” she asked sheepishly. I actually already had the perfect one planned. It was a little over a 5k, 3.3 miles at a brewery 30 minutes from her house. I came in 4th last year (I did a 15 mile long run the day before and had tired legs), and I wanted redemption.
And that is how I got my two drinking buddies to be my two running buddies. The one who is training for a 5k is a little more on her own, but there are a few days all of our schedules can align and hopefully we will all run together. Friendships should be about bettering each other. If you have a toxic friend in the group it is hard to better yourself and be happy.
On March 1st we will all run the 3.3 mile race, but until then we will all meet on Friday nights for a pint, and a run on Saturday morning.