This morning I ran a 5K race (3.1 miles) through Sequoyah Hills, a storied Knoxville neighborhood with beautiful homes and majestic trees.
The fun part was I got to do it with five other co-workers, Don, John, Eric, Hayes and Phil. There's something to be said for the camaraderie of friends. Somehow, I seemed to run faster and better than I did during my training.
We all finished at different times but it was cool to have a post mortem of the race: the beautiful spring day, the hills on the course, and the dude you saw sprinting past the 3-mile marker on the loop before you completed mile 1. (He ain't normal!)
During a short pause in the conversation I interjected, "where's the food?"
We headed for the snack tent. I downed a chocolate-covered granola bar, a banana, Chex mix and a bottle of water within a few minutes.
Since I've been home, I've had chocolate milk to help with recovery. I now have visions of eggs and some serious carbs.
I started running in fall 2007, thanks to the encouragement of my friend and former colleague, Ansley. She challenged me to try something new and promised to run with me. I remember training with her during the frigid winter months. Meeting at 6:30 a.m. in 20-degree weather didn't seem so bad because a buddy was waiting for me.
I also saw the City of Knoxville with new eyes because I covered a lot of it on foot.
Many mornings I wanted to stay in bed but I couldn't bear the shame of standing Ansley up. So I went ... grudgingly.
Our time together was precious because it grew our friendship in addition to increasing my physical endurance.
Since then, I've run three half marathons (13.1 miles), several 10Ks (6.2 miles) and tons of 5Ks.
(One of my favorite things about races is the yummy stuff you get to eat at the end.)
Running is one addiction I don't mind having.