I opened my eyes a crack. The light was streaming into my basement window and I could guess that even though my body felt like it needed at least another hour my alarm would be going off momentarily.
I closed my eyes and thought about turning it off. I could have that extra hour of sleep if I really wanted. It was 6:30, I could sleep until 7:30 and easily get where I needed to be by 9. I could do it, I knew I could, but…I had agreed to do this. I had agreed to wake up and do 6 miles with my running buddy and I couldn’t let them down.
I kept my eyes closed for one more second. Waiting to here my self phone beep and a text message come in, the tell-tale sign of an early morning run cancellation. Instead of a please beep, one second later my self phone was blaring with the all-too-familiar, earth-shattering alarm tone. It was time.
I can’t count the number of times having a running buddy has been the added push I needed to stay on track with my training plan, to wake up at insanely early hours (thank you PGRC for your 5:30am starts) or to get me out in insane weather (like 100+ degrees….thanks David.)
There are always a million excuses buzzing around in my head for why I shouldn’t run, why I deserve a day off, why slowing down is okay. And taking a day off and slowing down are O.K. once in a while, but if you have goals to accomplish then you’ll really regret those extra hours of sleep when race day comes.
I have been lucky enough to almost always have at least one reliable running buddy nearby (I wish I could name all the wonderful friends and family members who have joined me for countless runs over the years, but as I said the number is countless and we’d be here all day) – but last August when I first moved to Maryland that wasn’t the case. I knew nobody who ran my distance and pace within 5 hours. But I had a race – the Hartford Half and the Philadelphia Marathon – that I was already registered for. I had a goal and without my usual running buddies I was longing for some accountability when it came to my training.
Thankfully, although my buddies were far away and I was only slowly acquiring new ones, we live in the era of social media. Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, good “old-fashioned” texts and phone calls allowed me to harness some of that accountability and buddy-feel back.
I found sending photos the night before a long run, hard workout or race gave me the buddy-accountability and the motivation I needed to get me out on the road.
This morning I woke up 10 minutes before my alarm and thought about my alternatives: running 9 miles ixn a beautiful 62F or sleeping an extra hour and waiting to run in the heat…or just not running at all? I hadn’t told anyone that I would be running in the morning, I didn’t have anyone to meet up with…
I slept until 7a.m. Maybe 7:05 a.m. Maybe.
Now it is 4:09 p.m. The temperature is starting to cool off a little (I hope) and the Marine Corps Marathon in October is suddenly seeming very soon. I’ve decided that logging my planned 9 mile tempo is probably a necessity.
I should probably stop writing and lace up my shoes. I should and now, I feel like I might actually do it thanks to you.
So, thank you readers for being my accountability-buddy today. If you ever feel like a you need an added push to get you through or to a workout find a buddy – either in person or virtual – and let them know your plan. Have them hold you accountable, and then maybe that goal of yours will seem that much closer.
P.S. You are always welcome to comment here if you need some larger-scale v