Now some of you seeing the title above might might think this post is about running in cozy shoes.
Or perhaps pounding the pavement whilst (I love the word “whilst”…thanks Britain) wearing your favorite winter “jammies.”
You’d be mistaken.
NOTE: For the record, wearing jammies on a run would probably chafe something fierce in the nether regions.
Actually this brief tidbit is just about running in an environment that is both familiar and fun. The kind of run that gives you the “warm fuzzies.”
And for me, no running environment is more friendly or soothing to my sweaty soul than lacing ’em up and running with my running family: the gang at TEAM TO END AIDS (T2).
This week I did my first Saturday run of the season with T2, as we begin training for the 2016 Los Angeles Marathon (on Valentine’s Day). This will be my 7th time running LA with them.
As I hopped out of my car at Griffith Park at 7:00am, I smiled as I saw our T2 banners waving in the wind (at least they would have waved if there was any wind) and a sea of red shirts gathering by our regular meeting place.
I walked up and greeted several old friends and was introduced to several “newbie members” (aka future friends).
Coach JC got things started with his weekly group salutation of “Good morning T2!” yelled at the top of his lungs. It’s tradition with T2 and doesn’t get old. He rattled off his week 2 run prep spiel (I was out of town for week 1) which at this point I could almost recite along with him.
We then broke into our pace groups and I saw that my group (“Roadkill”) was about 90% alumni runners, with just a sprinkling of first timers.
It’s a true testament to T2 that so many of our runners are veterans who don’t really need a group to train for a marathon. We just choose to come back year after year because we love the people and support the cause.
This week’s run was just a simple and short 5-mile jaunt along a familiar route that I could run with my eyes closed. I spent a good chunk of the running talking to one of the new runners, learning about her and answering any questions she had.
And before I knew it, we were back in Griffith Park and our run was done. I probably should have added a few more solo miles at the end of the run (got another half marathon in 4 weeks), but I’m still recovering from last week’s quad-killing Big Cottonwood Half. I figured a light week wouldn’t hurt.
So, I said my goodbyes to the group, told ’em I see them all next week and made my way to my SUV.
Just 20 more weeks until the LA Marathon.
Yup, 20 Saturday runs (minus a few that I’ll miss to other races and vacation) with my running family.
And when the mileage gets high or the weather gets nasty, as long as I’m with them I’ll still be running comfy.
Get fuzzy… and Run on!