Spring marathon training 2014: Old friends and a big thank you


I want to thank everyone for the positive feedback on the last post about my nephew. He really is a wonderful kid, and a long time ago that relationship taught me more about love than can fittingly be put into words.

My nephew and I dressed as Mario and Luigi for Halloween. I told him I would do it. He kept me to my word.

My nephew and I dressed as Mario and Luigi for Halloween. I told him I would do it. He kept me to my word.

With that said, I don’t know if I’ll have too many more posts soon that will drive folks to tears.

I do have a couple of odd articles I want to write. One requires some research. The other involves mustering up the courage to awkwardly contact someone I have not seen in decades to try to fact check some of my own memories before I begin musing here. The latter idea could hold some solid personal insights. I just worry about offending or rebuffed. Who knows if my memory is completely spot on? I was, like, 10 during the period of questioning.

I’ll leave you a bit of a mystery until then. When either of those posts get posted, you’ll know.

Since this is a running blog though, or at least it was, I thought I’d share a moment I had the other night.

runnersI met with my running group I’ve been a part of since 2011 for spring marathon training on Tuesday. The group has grown. We all now cram into this little running store, where we discuss routes and tips for the newbies of the group before heading out. I wrote earlier about how running’s become everyday, pedestrian, a habit. What I forgot was how wonderful the social aspect of group running is.

Walking into that store sort of felt like walking into a favorite bar. I was almost expected someone to shout out, “Norm!” when I entered the room. Stick around long enough and everyone knows your name.

After a brief hiatus since fall, I learned one of my running friends and his wife are expecting, and another has some fabulous trips planned. A former newspaper colleague joined the group with his girlfriend as well. Then there was Rod, our fearless running group leader, who rambles on at the start of our runs. Someone joked you can never be late to our 6:30 p.m. Tuesday night meets in the middle of this week’s Rod ramble when it got to about 6:45 p.m. We laughed, even Rod. We’ll probably do it again next week too.

6363533187_d0b057956e_o1.jpgAnd of course there was our pace coach, Mike, who told his jokes and kept us in line as we ran in a light, cold rain over the bridges of the Ohio River, weaving in and out of Kentucky and Ohio. That river, and those bridges, are so familiar to me now. They are also a sort of visual cliché. I cannot tell you how many pictures are on the Internet of them – a few of mine included. But, damn, after a small break away, and with friends, the view was stellar Tuesday night.

The first run, despite its dampness and nastiness, felt great. Some of us broke it down in small groups afterward, talking about goals for this year, same as we did last year and the year before that. I ran into Jim at the end. He’s in his 60s and fast, qualifying for Boston in his first marathon last year. He introduced me to his son who is running with him, and a family friend who came out to train as well.

I went home soaking wet, cold, yet warm and happy.

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