“Huddle up Downtown Runner Guys and ummmmm Gal.” Ken roars as he gets everyone gathered for the start of my weekly 10k speed work.
The Detroit Runners and Walkers is a club like no other, with people like no other! It’s my weekly “playing,” penned in on my schedule that doesn’t get changed for much of anything. I don’t really ever refer to it as my “me” time, but that’s what it most likely is. My non-negotiable me time that drains my running legs and recharges my soul.
This week happened to be the picnic so it was a longer drive, but the second I get out of my car and am hugged, high fived, picked up and kissed, and waved to from afar, I know I’m as safe as I am in any place on this earth. The group laughs, welcomes one another, throws some bantering out, and inquires about everyone’s goals or recent runs. People brag up each other or themselves for a time and then Ken does what Ken does: He puts everyone at ease, makes sure new to the group runners are welcomed, and that we call out our names. There’s just something awesome about being, not only in the presence of some most amazingly talented runners, but a group of friends who are just as committed to running as they are each other.
Luscire leans over and is clear to point out on this day that I just happen to be the only gal that showed up, and I don’t flinch because I get to do what I do….chase boys. We go around the circle and then take off. The last couple of runs I’ve hung back to catch up with a few friends and then I’ve had to catch up. Today, the un-seemingly cool summer night was going to give me a chance to keep up…..and so it began. The guys were chatting and there’s just something awe-inspiring about running alongside a legend like Doug Kurtis. He is knocking on the door of running 200 marathons at a sub-three hour time. I mean c’mon……that’s a dream that most people can’t even touch a single time and this guy’s done nearly 200 at that pace.
It’s days like today, that even if its just for 3 of the 6 miles, I am one of the guys. I keep my mouth shut and I listen. This is one of those times where I’m able to pick up running tips, I can ask a question, and I get a no-nonsense and never sugar coated answer. It’s usually all straight forward and it’s raw. If the answer might hurt your feelings; don’t ask the question.
I’d have to say that running with a group, running outside your comfort zone, and running with people you WaNt to impress is a sure way to get better. In many ways I think that has inspired me to not only be a better runner, but a better person. The group run is limited to the minutes it takes to run 6 miles. This time is often littered with questions and story sharing. The stories can be of either your peeks or your valleys. Now, I get we all need ‘pick me ups’ when we’re in valleys, but I don’t want it ever to consume all my minutes, because then it will consume all my miles.
We’re all only given a certain amount of miles in this life…….I want mine to be shared with the people who inspire me to do and be better and the stories of me, that really define me (which are those that also put a smile on my own face).
Find a group, gather, banter, share dreams, share knowledge, push, and when necessary pull or even shove, because we’re each on a road of limited miles…….so let the majority of your running miles and your life minutes be spent in PeRsOnAl bLiSs!