A few years ago, I used to train mostly on my own - I didn't know many local runners, and had the rare opportunity to share some miles with anyone. After my first ever snowshoe race, Abby Woods (now Abby Mahoney) approached me and told me I should train with her - and from there, I met other local running ladies. Fast-forward 3 years later, and we added a women's team to the highly competitive local running club - the Western Mass Distance Project, which at the time was men-only. Now, through the community that Abby introduced me into, and through ladies that the team has connected me with, I have running buddies for almost all of my runs, and am surrounded by an amazing group of supportive friends!
This incredible and supportive group is illustrated by this morning's festivities. One of our teammates, Laura Hutchinson, is getting married next Tuesday. We threw her a super secret surprise 'bachelorette run' this morning. She still got in her track workout, but she wore a veil and carried a bouquet. It was quite the site.
(Laura, in all her glory)
(The crew who met at 5:30am to surprise Laura)
By 6:45am, Laura had headed off to CrossFit, and the rest of us were cooled down and headed to work. It was a truly special morning, and absolutely fitting for Laura - who is the biggest cheerleader of everyone else...so it's great to celebrate her.
It reminded me of last year's Carver Cranberry 5 Mile Race, which was the debut race for the ladies WMDP team. It was also the morning of my wedding. So, I raced with an extra skip in my step (and a garder belt on my leg)...and we rushed our cool down to get my home in time to walk down the aisle. The rest of the team that day was ladies headed to my wedding, so they understood. Like I said, I am so fortunate to know this amazing group of ladies!
(My first time in the baby blue - Carver 5mi on my wedding morning)
What is your running community like? What does running mean to you?