On running camaraderie (or feeling like a slacker)

This past weekend, my husband and I volunteered at a 100-mile endurance run. It’s the one my husband ran last year, and it always brings out amazing runners and volunteers alike.


Runners heading down the hill toward one of the well-stocked aid stations. You can see volunteers waiting to fill up bottles and hand out food.

As a runner, I am always reminded during this race of some of what I love about running. Because I am not an ultra runner (someone who has run more than a marathon distance), I also have a chance to feel like a slacker when it comes to running. Humility is a good thing, right? (I ask rhetorically and with a smile.)

It happens every year: the volunteers make small talk with one another in between filling water bottles, making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, doling out soup and even (shudder) popping blisters. Invariably, the question comes up: Do you run? Continue reading

Running community: And why Rock ‘n’ Roll is a dirty word at our house

I started running when I was 32. I’m not sure why, but there was something in me that wanted the challenge and the fitness and the experiences and the discipline running would bring me.

Why do I keep running? I got all of those benefits from running, but I think what truly keeps me running is the community. My community has a language and a special craziness all of its own. We’re connected by the miles we log alone, the races we run together, the injuries we fight with the help of those who’ve been on that road before us. We’re connected by the willingness to lace up our shoes in 25 degrees or 85 degrees alike. We’re connected to the strangers we wave to each day as we pass each other on our morning run. We’re connected to the fastest Kenyan chasing the next world record and the slowest couch potato who has decided to try her first 5K.

I don’t want to Rock ‘n’ Roll
Runners are even connected by our favorite shoe stores and the particular races we choose to run. And so maybe that’s why Rock ‘n’ Roll is a dirty word at our house these days. No, not the music. My husband and I will never stop loving that. This Rock ‘n’ Roll has to do with racing and all that is wrong with big corporations coming in and pushing the little guys around or even out. Continue reading