Sunday, February 21, 2010

Running Along

I’m marathon training again.

With less than a month out from the LA Marathon I have stepped up the running, squeezing in two to three hour-long runs during the week and a long weekend run.

This time around I have found a few more running buddies. A few weeks ago I started running with a Students Run LA group. Several of my friends from Kairos mentor teens through this marathon training group. For years they have invited me to join them on their long weekend runs, and this time around I decided to give it a try. I loved it.

Because I just show up for the weekend runs, I don’t feel like I really know the kids yet. But I have been driving them up to Griffith Park where we run and I’m beginning to get to know them. It’s funny, but I feel like its kind of an honor to be a small part of their world.

They are great kids. They all live in the lower-income, urban neighbors near downtown LA. Some of them struggle academically. Some are experiencing serious family heartaches. Some run fast. Others really slow. But they are working hard and they keep showing up to run 12, 16, 18 miles because they believe they can make it to the finish line next month.

I have started making them marathon cookies, my own half-breed cookie/protein bar creation. It’s still a work in progress (I’m adapting a couple recipes), but it seems to be boosting my popularity among the students – which other than nutrition was my goal all along.

Running with the girls from Kairos has also been a lot of fun. There are four of us near enough to each other’s pace to run together for several miles. It has been nice for me to have an excuse to spend several hours catching up with these old friends.

I have also ran a couple times with my friend, and fellow homeschooling mom, Kathleen. She is particularly inspiring because running is fairly new to her and she is training for her first marathon. We ran today, but fell into more talking and walking than running. But that is ok. There is a time for everything.

During the week I have been splitting my running time between running with Kip and running with our daughter. I usually run 3 or 4 miles with Kip and then another 2 and a half with our daughter. And she usually outruns me.

She seems to really enjoy our morning runs. It is one of the few things that motivates her to get out of bed with a smile. She has been talking about running the marathon next year. She ran 5 miles with Kip a couple weeks ago, so she may be ready to take on longer runs. We will see.