Finding a Group Again

First morning with the TriChicks

First morning with the TriChicks

Running can be a lonely sport. It’s me against the pavement. I use it as time to think, reflect, solve problems, contemplate what I’m doing with my life, you know, the simple things.

When I first started running, I went from zero to training for a the Vancouver Marathon.  I hooked up with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training (TNT), and was given a coach, and a group of runners from all different levels, shapes, and backgrounds to train with. We would meet in the wee hours of the morning and in the evenings after work in Central Park to train, and inevitably you made your friends based on your running pace. I was always in the back of the pack, and lucky I was because that’s where I met my first running buddy, Juliet. After Jules, I collected Laura, and Cat along the way.  We were each training for different marathons with TNT, and started “Team Fortis” when we decided to train for the Chicago Marathon together.

We were all very different women at different points in our lives. But as motley as we were, we were bonded together through running, and went through a lot together as we logged the miles.

I left New York at the end of 2001, and moved to Sydney, Australia. I had an end date to my year abroad, as I had qualified for the NY Marathon the following November, and was going to return to run with Team Fortis.

I haven’t found a group to run with since I returned to the States. I’ve had a few running partners along the way, but not a group like I had in New York. Last week I got an email from the LA Tri Club, a group I have belonged to, but never have really participated in. The email made me go to the website, and I found a group that meets twice a month at 6:30am called the “TriChicks.” Since that is my license plate, I figured it was a good group to join. I emailed the contact for the group and told her I was coming.

6:00am rolled around and I snoozed another 15 minutes. I had already set everything out, so all I had to do was jump out of bed, put on my clothes, and hop in my car. Big mistake, seeing as the meeting location was a little more than 15 minutes from my house.

As I raced towards Brentwood, I pulled up to park just as I saw a pack of women turning the corner running away.  I jumped out of my car and started running at full speed to catch up with them. I finally got to the back of the pack, introduced myself, and found the gal I had emailed. I told her how I found the group, and that my license plate shared their namesake. She was stoked, and asked if she could take a picture with it when we were finished with the work out.

After the warmup, it was a pretty challenging run, as we did 10 hill repeats for 1 minute up, 1 minute down and rest on a gnarly hill. The group does the same workout every time they meet, which is a good indication as to how you are progressing. I was fourth just about every time we went up the hill. The last run up I tried to pass the #3 spot, but that didn’t happen.

I met some nice girls, and when we got back to my car we took a photo in front of it. I think I may have a new group!