Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Being a Runner is Funner with Friends

This entry could've more boringly been titled "February in Review." (Yes, that's how far I've fallen with my blogging; I now find it totally acceptable to lump an entire month into one succinct entry.) But I do love me some alliteration AND assonance (God bless my freshman English teacher), and more importantly I really do feel like the opportunities I've had to run and workout with other people comprise the only legitimate training I can claim for the month. In addition to a weekend in the Southeast with Jeannette and some solid miles on the Boston course with Sarah, there's been another exciting development: a new training partner right here on the North Shore! (Oh, and for the record, my weekly mileage for February was: 70, 74, 80, 82. Booooring.)

As many of you know, other than Jordan (when he's in town) and Abbey D (when she's spending a few days at home in between winning national titles), I don't really have any training companions in the Salem-Beverly-Marblehead area who I can logistically run with every day. Driving into Boston and back before work simply isn't feasible, and going there in the evening is usually the last thing I want to do after a long day at the office. Last Sunday, at the 10-miler in Amherst, I ran into Larissa Park at the awards ceremony. I'm not sure if we'd ever been formally introduced, but we were familiar with each other from local races and from her trouncing me at the Beverly Homecoming 5k this past summer. When she told me that she and her husband had recently relocated to Marblehead from Somerville, I was more than pleasantly surprised. She was so close by that we could run to meet each other! She would actually ensure that I got up when my alarm went off in the morning! We immediately took advantage of this newfound proximity by meeting up three separate times last week: on Wednesday morning for a speed workout devised by her coach (in 15 degree-weather), on Friday morning with Jordan for a 10-mile progression run (which was inconceivably even colder than Wednesday), and on Sunday with Jordan and Sarah for some long leisurely miles through Marblehead and Salem. In the span of one week, I'd already done more quality mileage with Larissa than the treadmill slogging I would've suffered through in her absence. If this is a sign of things to come, I think my spring training could finally be looking up!

This happened on Friday morning...

...and, as a result, so did this. #sweatsicles