Today I'm going to talk about the running community. I first started running as part of the track team in high school. There was definitely a huge sense of community as you were part of a team and all that jazz. When I started running again in college and afterwards, I did it by myself. I would run on the treadmill, around the city, just because I liked to run. I would run with a few friends here and there but I did the majority of my training on my own (including my first half marathon).
It wasn't until I decided to tackle the marathon that I realized I wouldn't be able to do this on my own. I signed up for the local CARA group and started training.
|With some of my training pals at the CARA compound before the Chicago Marathon 2011|
|After the Illinois Marathon (and half marathon) 2012|
After the training for my first marathon was over, I didn't know what to do. I had all this extra time on my hands and I had made all these new running friends! The training group kind of dispersed afterwards so I decided to get in touch with my local running group, the FNRC. I had run with a few of the folks a few times, but over the winter, we really got the chance to do some bonding over the weather conditions and general running talk.
|My first long run with the FNRC|
|First time meeting Maggie|
After the marathon was over, I also decided to start this old blog. That opened me up to a whole entire world of the running blogger community. Some of these folks started off as acquaintances but have become friends over the months we've known each other. We do meetups, race, drink, eat and do all other sorts of things together. I really am lucky to be friends with so many great ladies.
|My first ever blogger meetup before the Shamrock Shuffle 2012|
|Girls weekend at Zooma Great Lakes 2012|
|Oiselle teammate meetup on the Chicago lakefront path|
|Chicago Blogger Holiday meetup|
To me, all of these runners are inspiring in so many different ways! Whether it is my pace leader and pal Jeanne qualifying for Boston for the first time; Maggie PRing all the time getting faster and faster; Amanda W PRing when not planning it while overcoming injuries along the way; Amanda TTF who somehow manages to run marathons, complete triathlons while also raising a family at the same time; Kim who works full time, helps run a company with her husband, and maintains a vegan lifestyle; Sara who loves running marathons more than I ever thought possible; Erin who always looks adorable whether she is or isn't wearing running clothes; and Kelly who (has an awesome name) always shares great recipes and goes after her dream of becoming an Ironman, something I can only imagine in my wildest nightmares... And all the other ladies who I didn't mention but who continue to inspire those around them without even realizing it!
This post has got me feeling all warm and fuzzy... and very fortunate to have such great ladies in my life! I may be taking a little bit of a break but I know when I'm back at it, these ladies (and a few guys) will be there for me, no matter what. Who do you run with and how do they inspire you?