My running friends and I are gearing up for winter. Well, truth be told, most of my running friends manage to run all year long. I'm one of the few who's starting over again from scratch. I'm hoping one of the original pack leaders will rejoin us this season. She took last year off and good or bad, things haven't been the same without her. She's the person who really encouraged me (and so many others before and after me) to run and she's one of a distinct few who actually adores the act of running. I've come to really enjoy running, but mostly when I've survived a race and the beer is flowing.
A couple of us will be running the Shamrock Marathon again this March and will begin our structured training this Saturday morning with a nice little 12.4 mile jaunt along the Atlantic Ocean in 30 degree weather and freakishly strong winds. This is the 'short' run of the series and we'll progress to 15.5, 18.6, 20, and then 26.2 miles over the next two-and-a-half months. Since I haven't run since I broke my arm in September and wasn't really running consistently since last year's Shamrock Marathon in March, this will be quite the challenge for me. My other friends have various medical ailments including a twisted ankle and a bad hip. We're quite the lot. But we laugh at our own weaknesses, cheer each other on, and share in each other's bragging rights when we complete the impossible. And as my friend Steve said, it's not winter until the running of the idiots. Wish us luck!