I’ve mentioned before that what I miss most about not being able to run marathons anymore is not the race, but the long training runs. I LOVED those runs and referred to them as a party on the trail. When else can you have that much uninterrupted time with your friends? Long training runs were such a staple of my Saturday mornings for so many years that I felt lost when suddenly my long runs were rarely longer than ten miles.   

A couple of days ago, I learned that some of my friends were heading to Point of Rocks, Maryland to run fourteen miles on the C&O Canal. Cue my sad face. I love running on the C&O Canal. It’s packed dirt and gravel, it’s situated between the Potomac River and the canal, it’s pretty flat, mostly shaded, and it’s lovely.

Not sure that I could manage fourteen miles and not wanting to hold my friends back if I couldn’t keep their pace, and certainly not wanting to get up at zero dark thirty to be able to meet them in Maryland for a 5 AM start (it’s a half hour drive to get there), I passed. I knew that I would be missing out on a lot of fun, happy chatter, and at least a few shenanigans, but hey, I’m a big girl and I can handle a little disappointment here and there!  


Photo credit: Erin

Don’t feel too sorry for me though; I still had a 6 AM date with these lovely ladies at our nearby trail! After slightly over-stretching my back in yoga yesterday afternoon and still feeling an odd pain this morning, I decided to show up for my run, try to run, and walk back to my car if necessary.


Despite the 75° and super high humidity, I fell into a decent pace with two ladies I’d never met and another I’d only run with briefly on a previous Saturday. We ran out the trail for three miles chatting away until two of the ladies turned to finish their six-mile run. The other runner, Allison, and I continued on for two more miles for ten miles total. Even though we’re over twenty years apart in age, we learned quickly that we have a lot in common besides loving to run. We are both Virginia Tech alumnae and we’re both boy moms! Conversation flowed easily and before we knew it, we’d finished ten miles – something neither of us would have probably done without the other. 

Did I have a great run? Heck yeah!

Did I make some new friends? Of course!

Did I miss my other running friends? You bet!

Did I leave the trail without an ounce of self pity left in me? Absolutely!

Will I get other little twinges of envy when my running buddies go on their long runs as training for their fall marathons continue? Yes, but if I’m lucky I can join them for a few miles here or there, and if I can’t join them, I now have even more running friends to train with. The thing that I must keep in mind is that I’m a part of a huge and very active MRTT chapter filled with lots of incredibly nice women, and there’s almost always someone ready to log a few miles. 🙂

Oh, and my back – how did it feel? I didn’t even notice it!


  • Questions:
  • What causes pity parties for you?
  • How hot is it where you live?
  • Who raced this morning or is racing tomorrow?