At least not all the time.. Not too long ago I did all my running on my own. I did all my marathon-training by myself, mainly running 1.4 mile laps round our farm. It was great and I enjoyed it - when you're a more or less full-time mother 45 minutes on your own every day is a pleasure for everyone. I got the chance to think, to work things out and also just to zone out - and I would often come back having resolved something I was struggling with without ever actually having focused on it. Weird but wonderful.
Recently however, I have started running with others. First when I joined my running club and then latterly when one of my friends from the running club (the extremely talented Sally) started to join me on some of my long runs. This past Sunday she joined me for my 14 miler (remember, this woman had not run more than 6 miles 3 weeks ago!) and it was wonderful. I was tired and would have really struggled on my own. I'm not sure I would have actually completed the run.. With Sally to talk to I managed. And not only that, I came out of the run with all sorts of ideas and inspiration. It was just great! I was talking to Sally about how she was doing so well at the moment and I, very carefully, suggested she might consider running a marathon in future. This is not because I think everyone should - I'm not one of those runners who only respects the marathon - but because she is so unusually gifted in her running. This is someone who would probably qualify for Boston without even trying. I know, I know - I could hate her but she's too nice. Anyway - she confessed she's already been on the NYC marathon site! So we decided we might run the 2008 NYC marathon together with another friend from the running club, along with anyone else who would like to join us. Details yet to be confirmed, but what an exciting prospect on the horizon.
And then today I had another amazing joint run. This time I met Adam Tinkoff, host of the Burning Twenty podcast and blog. I have been listening to his podcast since early 2006, when he started his quest to burn 20 pounds. His podcast is a true audio diary - you get Adam talking you through what he's done, what he's enjoyed, what's been hard and then you get his thoughts on all sorts of things that are happening to him in his life. He travels a lot and records some of his podcasts on the go (episode 52 from Sydney, for example, just transports you to the City - you can imagine the views, the people and even the smells and foods from the streetmarket he visits). His podcast, I think, really embodies the strenghts of podcasting - it's direct, it's honest and it is true. Meeting him was amazing! Having listened to him for so long I felt like I really knew him and he, of course, knew very little about me. We talked for about 2 hours (was that right Adam? I think that's how long it was) and it was incredible. We covered so many topics - from running (dah!) to other podcasts to our lives and our careers and our beliefs and views - it was so interesting. He's given me a lot of thoughts to consider on those days when I still run by myself. He's a kindred spirit and an incredibly inspiring person - it was a great pleasure to actually meet him.
And so, with very little awareness of time creeping up I find myself halfway through week 8 of marathon training - very nearly halfway there. The really hard (hitting) weeks are just around the corner now. This weekend I'm doing a 15 miler on Sunday and then a few weeks later we've got the 17, 18 and two 20 milers. How am I feeling about it? I am looking forward to the long runs - I generally do. Am I going to break any records? I very much doubt it. With one thing and the other I don't think I've given marathon training 100%. I always seem to get better towards the end - how unusual - and as long as I can get round I will really enjoy this race. Last year at this time - 5/6 months after my autumn marathon - I was still half on, half off, injured etc. - at least this time round I seem to be able to cope with the training. And with all this company I'm getting, the training is far more fun as well..
Till next time. Happy trails!