Thursday, November 11, 2010

Celebration dinner

Last night we had our official end-of-season group dinner.  My weekend group this year (as well as last year) was less cohesive than prior years, but my weekday running buddies were all there and sitting together, so I sat with them (hubby worked last night).  It was great to hear about their NY experiences.  One person finished right on target, one was on BQ pace through mile 23 but then had major issues with his quads and slowed down a lot but still had a PR, and one person finished in what would have been a disappointing time for her under normal circumstances, but given her injuries this year, starting and finishing were small miracles by themselves!  And she broke 4 hours, which is something that took me years! 

It was a lot of fun and reminded me again how lucky I am to have such an awesome bunch of running buddies.  Well, reminded might not be the right word -- I never really forget how lucky I am! 

I think I mentioned before that two close running buddies have abandoned me over the years.  Incidentally, both for California.  One moved there for his girlfriend's (now wife, as of a few days ago) job.  And one just moved this summer for his own job. 

Anyway, I just had a weird dream on Monday night about the one who had moved away this summer.  He was in my closet (not my real closet, just a closet that was mine in the dream) and he was either nailing something up or installing shelving or something like that.  I had mentioned it to my weekday buds on Tuesday morning (trying to change the topic on a sports-discussion-heavy morning) and we were all wondering how this guy was doing.  So I sent him a short email Tues night to say hi and see how life in LA and with his new job was going.

He replied to my email and said that when people ask him about how he liked living in Dallas (they were here for just over a year), he says the first thing that he mentions is how much he liked being in our running group.  It was his favorite thing about living here, which is cool to hear. 

It's certainly rare, unique, etc.  This group is probably why I like running as much as I do.  Such great people, great conversations, great friendships, etc.  It's hard to remember what life was like before I ran.  I was kind of new to the city here, so of course I didn't have as many friends as I do now, but it just seems like the local friends I know the best are all people with whom I run (or ran, a couple close friends are out right now for injury or people-making (to use Carrie's term!)). 

I wonder if I'd have the same dedication to running if I ran solo all the time.  Or even most of the time.  Now, there's just no question in my life about whether I'll get up at 4:50 and meet those guys at 5:15 to crank out some miles.  It's a given.  And even on days that I'm really tired or I'd rather just stay in bed, being out there with them makes it better. 

Lucky girl!  Guess this is a good month for being thankful in general, but my running buddies are among the best things in my life. 

That said, this morning's run sucked.  I hate when our group has all finished our races and we kind of float around without as much of a schedule for a couple months.  We usually hook up with one of the White Rock groups, and that's usually great.  But this morning one of the people who I don't particularly enjoy as a coach was leading the Rock group.  And we went with them, assuming we'd still head to the track and be able to do our own thing there.  But she had a different plan, and it wasn't as much fun.  But it will be back to normal on Tuesday fortunately!  My splits felt sloooow this morning.  And they were!  It was kind of warm and humid.  Slower pace didn't bother me though, just waiting to see how the long run this weekend goes.  No sense in being more tired than necessary for it. 

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