Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The people you meet

If anyone had told me 2 years ago about all the people I would meet after I started running, I would have laughed. Not to say I'm shy about meeting people, it's just that after living down here in GA for 6 1/2 years, the people I'd met thus far had mostly been through work and there weren't many.

Since August of 2008, when I first started putting my feet to pavement, I have been lucky to have met some pretty wonderful people, many of whom I now consider family. How did it start? Well, I quit smoking in May of '08, and told the trainer I was working with that I wanted to run a 5K, so she got me running on a treadmill (which I can't stand doing anymore), and then got me out running on pavement. Danja has since become a very good friend, and I love her to bits!

My training led to my first 5K, the Moonlight Run in Douglasville, and that's how I met the Rogues. The Douglas County Rogue Runners, what a fabulous group to join! After completing the 5K, I started getting out occasionally with them on their group runs, but I wasn't completely confident in my running ability. I soon learned with them that it didn't matter, seeing my progression as I gained ability was something they loved. They introduced me to trail running as well, and in combination with the races the Rogues put on, I've met some other very cool people in other clubs. Runners, marathoners, and ultra runners - what a fabulous and diverse group of people!

Thanks in large part to these runners I've met, I've not only completed 5K's and 10K's with improved times, but also half marathons. I gain experience with each race, and the support from other runners really motivates and keeps me at it. Now with a 25K in my sights, and a full marathon coming up, I know I can call on any one of these people for advice, support, training runs and friendship. One thing they may not all realize is that through their own races and challenges, they impart so much wisdom, humor and honesty about what they go through, that it helps me, challenges me, to push myself further than I may be comfortable with.

Rogues are: Johnny B., Cindy R., Linda P., Jennifer M. (x2!), Jennifer S., Scotty P., John and Desiree L., Terri E., Jonathan W., Orlando B., Michael (Crump) C., Steve C., Patrick O., Sherri C., Tracy H., Jack G., Karen H., Dave and Alicia M., Alex A., Lee B., Enithie H., Jeff F., Roger B., Mark G., Billy L., Amy K. and the list goes on as new members join.

GUTS members: Sally B., Kena Y., James T., Christian G., Tony G., Jason R., John C., Marty C., Charles R., Spurgeon H., Wayne D., Sean O., Elizabeth, Nick, Chris, Janice A. and the countless others who's faces I know but names I don't...yet!

And then the various other runners I've met: Kate B., Stefanie N., Margaret C., Jon R., Graham G., David H., whew! Lots of great people!

Can't forget about the Peachtree Road Race blogger from the AJC, Lauren D.! If you read any of the blogs she posted leading up to the race, you'd get a kick out of her insight as I did. Wish I could've seen her during the race, but I think we just missed one another.

You all are such wonderful inspiration to this still fairly "newbie" runner, and I thank you all for being you!

See you out on the road/trails soon!