As part of my 'get up early to workout' plan, I headed out this morning to meet a local running group. The group is hosted by Frank Yamato who owns Running in Motion near the Edmonds waterfront. The group meets every Sunday morning for a run around town. I have been on his e-mail list for quite a while, but have never ventured out with them until this morning.
I met Frank when I was just starting out as a runner. Wanting to support local businesses, I stopped by his store in search of some new shoes. The previous model I had been using was discontinued, and he spent some time watching my running gait and recommended a replacement model. He also hosts some running events throughout the year, and my friends and I have made the Rudolph Run a Christmas tradition.
Running is a funny sport. Most of the time it is a solitary venture. I typically run by myself as finding someone who runs your pace can be difficult, and matching up your schedules - fuggetaboutit. Running has become even more solitary with 95% of runners wearing iPod earbuds off in their own little world.
Still, there is a great feeling of community with other runners. You feel it at the starting line of any event. The nervous chatter, comparing training and goals, swapping stories about how you made it to the start line with all that is going on in your life. There are the smiles and waves as you pass another runner out on the road. Are they out there running toward or away from something? And there is a special commiserating bond when you pass another runner in the pouring rain or freezing cold. A smile that is part "way to go" and part "what were we thinking?"
So I crawled out of bed this morning to join a new community, though it was very tempting to hit the snooze button. I met some nice people and now have someone else to hold my feet to the fire to get out early on the weekends. I ended up running with a man named David who owns a wine shop called Arista Wine Cellars. I definitely need to get in good with this guy.
We all headed out from the running store and soon broke into smaller running pace groups. David led me around Edmonds, up hills, through neighborhoods, down to the waterfront and past the marina. It was just above freezing, but David set a pace that had us warmed up pretty quickly. It was great chatting with him while we ran, but the highlight was seeing a bald eagle at the waters edge just across the street from us. Though we see eagles once in a while circling over the Seattle area, it is rare for me to be this close to one.
All in all a good morning. The rest of the day is filled with errands, laundry, giving the dog a bath, etc., but it was nice to get an early jump on things. I just need to work on getting to bed a little earlier on the weekends to make the snooze button a little less tempting.