I don’t think of myself as someone who is goal-oriented, who tracks milestones, who plans particulars about how to achieve, well, anything. I tend to just plow in and do until I achieve the desired result.
I was surprised a bit then this weekend when my long run resulted in my passing the 1000 mile mark for the year. It wasn’t a goal I’d set out to reach. It wasn’t a milestone I had circled on a calendar. It was just a thing I noticed on Strava.
That said, I’m proud of making the mark. I’m more excited about the group of people that I got to do it with.
Sometime in June, I made my first trip to the Wednesday night Pub Run at Runabout Sports. Runabout is our local specialty running store. They provide high quality service and quality products for the needs of just about any runner. In addition to being a great store, they’ve also become a hub for the local running community.
It was this community that I stumbled into on that initial Pub Run and where I’ve made friends and running partners that have become a wonderful part of my life. The weekly run provides an anchor for my training. It provides an outlet for my worries and concerns about my training or racing. It provides a place to share our love of running. But, what it really provides is a place to make friends and to share our lives whether we talk about running or not.
It was the group of friends I’ve made at Pub Run which I joined this weekend for a long run on the Appalachian Trail. Most of them were doing the Catawba Run Around (a 35-mile loop traversing Dragon’s Tooth, McAfee Knob, and Tinker Cliffs) but I just joined them for the last third of the loop. While I felt pretty rough at the end of my 13-mile segment, I was overjoyed to be spending time in the woods with my friends. Friends I made at Pub Run.
We live in a society where people move away from their hometowns. They ensconce themselves behind screens detached from what’s happening right outside their door. They wallow in excesses labeled as entertainment. Pub Run is my quilting bee, my barn raising, my Sunday potluck, my barber shop, the place where I fight against all these isolationist impulses. It’s a shared commitment to support others and to let myself be supported. It might be the place I am the most me. Thank you to Runabout Sports for making it happen.
Speaking of milestones, I passed 100 miles run at Pub Run since that initial run in June. Maybe I am a milestone person.