January 4, 2013

BTC Resolution Run and resolving to make runner friends

One of my goals from January of last year was to get involved in the local running community. Well, mission accomplished. Looking back at the last year, it's almost hard to remember where I was at this time last year. Picture in your mind a lot of lonely 20 milers.

My main running partner was my brother, who did not know that I would put this photo on the world wide web.


My bro is still at the top of my running-partner list, but since he typically doesn't like to run over about 13 miles (give or take), I needed to find some running peoples to go the distance for marathon training.

Enter the Birmingham Track Club. Also enter Mekelle, my Savannah training partner. Also enter Lara and Diane, my gym BRFs (best running friends). These three factors made the second half of this year's marathon training so incredibly much better.

When Mekelle and I discovered the track club's Saturday morning runs, we were both like this.


It wasn't just the water stops that made these runs better, although those helped as we melted during every summer (and almost every autumn) run. The best part was meeting other long-run junkies who willingly chat it up for hours about running. Because when you're on a long run, one thing you have plenty of time for is conversation. Bonus: no one ever asks you how many miles are in a marathon (although they would all be happy to explain it -- for hours) or tries to warn you that running is really bad for your knees.

These Saturday runs opened up a whole new community of people to me. Last year, when I went to the Resolution Run at Red Mountain Park, I knew my brother (yay, because remember he's cool). This year when I went to the same run, there were still lots of unfamiliar faces, but there were a whole heck of a lot more familiar ones.

Post run. Hey, I know some of those people!

Like these ones. OK, so I only met the guy in the orange jacket that day, but next time I see him, I'll totally know him.

Source: Birmingham Track Club

For this year's Resolution Run, they again offered the 3, 5, and 10-mile options, but we went for the fiver to get back in time to score some food (which was gone after running 10 miles last year -- a major sadness for our bellies). We actually finished with six miles after a search and rescue mission involving a dog making a snack out of a giant pile of poop. It was as cool as it sounds.

The trails were in great shape and weren't too soggy, considering the rain lately, and we got in some great workouts on the hills. I distinctly remember not being able to run all the way up this hill (and several others) last year. This year, dominated them. I have a loose definition of "dominate."


Here are some additional things (other than more friends) that made this year's run a success: 

1. I did not have a single fall. Holy Nikes, it's a miracle.

2. We met a raccoon near the park entrance. Is it a raccoon defense mechanism to look so adorable while simultaneously having the ability to be so vicious? Because, dang it, they are so freakin' cute. Like Hello Kitty, I-want-a-picture-of-you-on-my-backpack cute. 


3. Plenty of food at the finish! Cheesy muffins and pork sliders, yes I will. It looked like they had loads left for those running the 10-miler too. Thanks, Jim 'N Nick's!


After two years of living in the same town as my brother, I think it's safe to confirm that he's a super sibling. Plus our pants match.


And even though my brother will always be my ace running partner, I'm glad that I was able to keep my resolution and expand my little running world. To all my new running people, whether we've run 20 yards together or 20 miles together (or just talked or tweeted about running together!), you've helped make running really cool for me this year. Thank you!

Is it super weird that I kind of wanted to cry when I wrote that last paragraph? Seriously, I love runner folks, but some of the misty-eyed-ness comes from the fact that Birmingham is starting to feel like our old town, Gainesville, felt. Like home. I knew it would happen eventually, but I had some serious love for Gainesville that I wasn't sure I could find in a new place.

Ever had an irrational desire to pet a wild animal? Back to that raccoon. The little raccoon eyes look so innocent that I actually considered just walking up and hugging it. Pretty sure that would have been a bad move.

Have you made any new runner friends this year? Or resolving to in the new year? There are several fellow bloggers who I want to meet (or see again!) this year. Plus I'm definitely looking forward to more networking with Team Oiselle and Alabama Outdoors. And after just a couple of weeks of working with my new coach (shout out to Resolute Running) and his team of runners, I know that's going to be a great new addition to 2013 too. Basically, 2013 better get ready to rock.

24 comments:

  1. You are running amazing distances, really incredible - great that your brother lobes to run with you but also nice to have a running group. I love running on my own some of the time and with others once a week. I love cycling in a group, the comraderie is amazing - a great spirit. I come across wallabies all the time when running, they are so cute...

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  2. You are so funny!!! Love the Hello Kitty comment. The cutest animal I have seen while running has been the tiniest baby frog ever. I picked him up and let him run with me for a while. And then I felt bad that maybe I took his from his mommy so I brought him back!
    Runner friends are the best because they "get it." I love running with them because they DON'T want to just talk about running (although they are a good audience and a captive one at that!!) I would love to run with you!

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    1. That's so sweet that you ran the frog back to its home!

      Yes, there's so much to talk about AND so much time to do it. When I meet a running partner's family, I feel like I already know them because you get to hear all the stories.

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  3. Love this post! I want to branch out and make new running friends as well, but I feel I'm too slow for my local running store's group runs that they do :(

    I've enjoyed reading your blog over the past year and I look forward to many more quirky and informational posts from you in 2013! :)

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    1. You should try that group run! I just said this in a comment below (working up from the bottom), but you should try calling or emailing before to see how you can find someone on that day that runs your pace. Our group makes an announcement at the beginning so the new person gets introduced and finds a group to run with. I know they aren't all like that, but someone should know enough about what's going on to help you find someone your pace.

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  4. Just saw some big horn rams on my way into Yellowstone on Monday, right next to the road! It took a lot of willpower and my boyfriend telling me, "Don't you dare!" to get me to stay in the car. I didn't want to pet them, I just wanted a picture...

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  5. I want to know more runners as well. I know plenty of Seattle running bloggers, but I live 35 miles south of Seattle, so it's rare to see them! I'm hoping to meet some runners closer to home...I've been injured, so even though I know of a group I could join, I still can't keep up with them! :) I'll be there soon!

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  6. We may not run together on Saturdays but I'm still very glad to have you as a running friend.

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    1. Ha, I was thinking of you when I wrote that last paragraph.:)

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  7. So glad you have running buddies:) That makes running much more fun. I don't really know anyone else who likes to run unfortunately, but I do know there is a running club in the area. Not sure if I am brave enough to attend. I would love to meet more bloggin buddies this year! I plan to attend Fitbloggin in Portland. So excited!

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    1. Do it! I was very nervous at first too, but every new group I've visited was really welcoming. You could always call/email before and ask about pace and how to find the right people to run with. Then you're not just wondering how it works when you get there. To me that is the worst part, showing up and not knowing what's going on while everyone else seems to.

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  8. Were you a few minutes late to the start? I'm pretty sure I saw your brother (with a dog?) talking on the phone to someone telling them that the run was starting. Gotta love blog-stalkery recognition! I did not anticipate the crowd and was one of those cars WAYYYYY down the street away from the start!

    I agree with raccoon cuteness! A group of us were laying out at the very.crowded Ross Bridge pool a couple years ago (bachelorette party) and just like nothing this HUGE (and very cute) raccoon started chillin' next to the lounge chairs. He eventually went back into hiding and came out a few more times during the afternoon. Pretty funny b/c he and his family must live there and feast off the leftover from the pool grill pretty regularly!

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    1. Yes! That was him, and he was waiting for me. That's another reason why he's a good running partner: does not leave without me when I am late.

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  9. Our years sound surprisingly similar! I also got connected with a running group this past year and love that I have some local running buddies now. It's so nice to get to that point where a place feels like home. Happy new year!

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  10. Yep, I'm resolving to make more running buddies this year! I even went to running group last night to make a start!!

    And yes, I wanted to stroke the reindeer at the zoo over Christmas. They looked so sweet and tame and friendly. I desperately wanted to stroke them. Raccoons however terrify me - they look deranged, like they might pounce on you at any time. Squirrels though...I'd love to snuggle a squirrel.

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    1. Ha -- squirrels are cute too.:) I'll never forget the first time I went to Washington D.C., and the squirrels would just let you walk right up to them in this park we were in. And I'm not really afraid of a squirrel clawing my eyes out, so that's always a plus.

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  11. You have a coach? Awesome!

    I love my running friends. I knew them before last year, but it was only last spring that we started running together. They motivate me, push me, and support me, and I adore them. Plus, there's just something about bodily functions gone awry at inopportune times that helps forge close friendships. ;-)

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    1. Yes! I just started with him right before Christmas. I'm super excited about it, but it's sometimes hard to relinquish control.:)

      And what good is a running group if you can't talk about excrement?!

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  12. This totally cracked me up..."Like Hello Kitty, I-want-a-picture-of-you-on-my-backpack cute." Ha ha ha! I don't really have anyone to run with...my boys don't really enjoy it since I got hurt last year...what gives...lol? I may try the YMCA running group...maybe! I love all my running blogger friends too!

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  13. That's really great your resolution was met for last year! It's awesome to have such great run buddies, I have a few, maybe I should resolve to partner up more often this year!

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  14. loved this! hoping to meet some new running peeps that are my speed this year! and meet you! are you doing oak barrel this year? i can’t remember. not sure if i will run, but will most likely be there-the BF just signed up.

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    ReplyDelete

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