An Observation

Good morning my Friends!

I haven’t done my run yet today because I’m participating in the Run Green St. Paddy’s Day 8K, which also includes an attempt to break the Guinness Book of World Records for the most people running in a kilt. I don’t plan to “race” because, well, I’m mighty sore (and humbled) from yesterday’s long in Umstead… I’ll fill you in on the details about that in my Week 10 summary later – which, as a preview, went much better than week 9 and the step back was much appreciated.

For now, though, as I rummage through pages of running related blogs and sites and Facebook feeds, and think about things I’d like to do (rather than cleaning my house…) I came across a picture of a local Galloway group that met for a run this morning. I was struck by the number of people in the photo: it was a HUGE group! It brought a big smile to my face to see all those people out there at 7 am in 30 degrees participating in a weekly run. I realize that group is rather large and that isn’t exactly unusual, but what really brought the smile to my face more than anything was that it made me think of the other folks I’ve seen running – tons more than usual this winter.

For those of you in the Raleigh area – I wanted to give you a high-five and let you know I see the hard work you are putting into your training…

Every day. Morning. Mid-day. Night. Alone. Two at a time. In groups. In the cold. In the heat. In the rain. All distances. All speeds. All shapes. All sizes. All ages.

I see you out there, struggling up the same hills that I struggle against (because they are a plenty around here….) and I feel a pang of empathy – and pride – for you… followed by a twinge of “I wanna be out there with you!”, even if I already ran that day (and had my booty handed to me by Umstead – haha). I’m clapping and cheering for you, and I’ll always smile and say hello. If I honk at you while I’m in my car… well… that’s just me trying to encourage you… think of it as me saying “awesome job up this nasty hill!!! This one kicked my butt yesterday – woo hoo!!!”.

I’ve been an active runner in this area for just at 5 years now and have seen it grow incrementally in that time, but I have noticed that the Raleigh Half Ironman, and now the Rock and Roll Raleigh, events have really created a surge of folks getting out there and logging mile after mile after mile. I see more running groups popping up and more and more and more group runs. I see more people participating in the running groups – both physically and virtually. All the Greenways I frequent are becoming filled with people smiling and saying hello while struggling up that hill I climbed earlier in my run. As someone who loves the social aspect of running, it makes me very happy to see this change because it is like I’m running with all these folks, making it a lot less lonely out there. I know there will be some attrition after these events pass, but I’m hopeful the majority are going to stick around.

It is a really nice change from all the lonely miles I’ve logged in the previous 4 years, and I’d like to thank those two organizations for selecting my home town for their events.

Now… time to try to break a record by wearing a kilt… I’ll update you on Week 10 later 🙂

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