I made some more running friends in Wallingford! They are four men. Slightly on the nerdy side.
This past week I have been getting my runs done for the most part on the Choate Academy track which is about a half mile from where I live. I am still being veryyyy careful with my foot – even though I haven’t felt pain for a while now! Flat, soft surfaces are the way to go to keep injuries away.
So yesterday, it was an incredibly nice day. The track was packed with walkers, joggers, kids playing on the high jumping mats, and a few doing speed workouts. I was in my normal “zoning out” mode and running in the outside lane. I noticed that there was a group of runners ahead of me, going the same direction, and I was catching them fairly quickly. Ugh. This is going to be awkward when I pass them on the outside lane. And they’re men. They will probably stare me down. That was my thought. Was it a normal thought to have? Probably not. But I hate passing people when it’s not a race. Especially real runners.
Surprisingly, as I passed them, they gave me a nod of approval and a “nice job!” They looked like they were all 50-somethings and maybe a few 60-somethings. A few were wearing reflective vests, which made me laugh a little because the sun was shining and we were on a track… Cute.
So as I ran lap after lap after lap I continued to pass by them. With just a few laps to go, one of the men yelled out as I passed by, “Hey! You should join us for our post-run beer that we have over there after you’re done with your run!”
If this were any other day, I would probably have said thanks but no thanks. But today, I just had this urge to be social. I’m leaving for my honeymoon in a few days and I’m changing my life and career once we get back. You could say my mood was much better than usual, which may have increased my level of outgoing-ness.
So, I joined them for a beer! They had a Sierra Nevada India Pale Ale six pack waiting to be consumed, and that was a good sign already – good taste. They asked me why I was running so fast, what I was training for, what I do for work, and so on. I learned that they all live in Wallingford. Some work as engineers, one was an orthodontist, and a few of them have kids going off to college next year. I would say that the number of things I have in common with them was not a lot, but running is a big one to have in common and can create at least a little bit of conversation! They were nice and it was interesting hearing about their lives. They are ALL training for the Hartford Marathon which is this October. That is amazing. Running is the best sport in the world because you can literally run any pace at any age as long as your legs and body hold up. The fact that they are all training for the same marathon is incredible. For some of them, it is going to be their very first marathon ever. For others, it is going to be their 20-something marathon. So. Cool.
I didn’t have the heart to tell them that I will be moving in a few weeks to New York City. I think that would have confused them greatly because I had a hard enough time explaining that I grew up in Missouri, went to high school in New Hampshire, went to college in Tennessee and Connecticut, lived in Austin for a year recently, and now just moved to Wallingford not long ago. I also had a hard time explaining what I do for work – and how it has changed a lot over the past few years. Adding the fact that I JUST accepted ANOTHER new job in the big city… well I will just leave that for the next Tuesday meet-up with them at the track for our run and post-beer social hour.
Hope everyone has a nice, outgoing day!