Saturday, September 3, 2011

A Harry situation.

Growing up, I always gravitated towards running.  I don't know how I fell in love with it or what even inspired me to lace up my shoes in the first place, but I can certainly remember logging lots of miles. It is something I feel blessed to have in my life.  It has been a way of fitness and stress relief from the beginning and more recently a source of adventure.  Back in January, when I was fortunate enough to make my return to the sport (I had taken a 4 year break from running, due to a spinal injury) I recognized that jumping back in would be physically painful and mentally challenging.  Thankfully I know myself... and had access to the internet... and with a little search I found the ALBANY RUNNING EXCHANGE- an organization for runners based in Albany.  Their website is fantastic!  It has an "events calendar" with races, clinics and daily group runs; some of which are public and others are private- for ARE members only.  Well, within the past few weeks of logging higher mileage, I hit a wall.  I can't seem to make it past 6 miles.  I just get bored.  Perhaps it's the fact that I have been running the same city blocks for the last month or that I miss conversation... whatever it is, I knew I needed to find a buddy.  So I did just that.  Through the ARE member list I was able to find Harry, a member who has a similar running pace and distance interest as my own.  This past Wednesday was the first time Harry and I ran together.  It was delightfully different and demanding.  We ran the trails at the Albany Pine Bush water tower.  The trails are sand which is a drastic change from sturdy asphalt, and after the weekend of Irene, the trails were certainly interesting.  There were mini-swamps, giant fallen trees and branches strewn all over.  I even tripped and fell, the first time ever doing that!  Classic move.  I had scratches on my legs and thorns in my fingers from the pricker bushes lining the trail and mud galore on my shoes and toes- yes it soaked through my Brooks and socks!  I even woke up the next day with cramps in my calves that I didn't know were possible.  It was all worth it- being able to run on trails, that as a woman I wouldn't feel safe doing on my own, making a new friend and swapping stories about training, motivation and races.  I have a feeling this blog will see several more posts about my trail adventures with Harry.

Following are a few photos to showcase the trails and Harry.

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