Thursday, December 1, 2016

Runner friends

Runner friends are the best, seriously!! I have been blessed to meet so many people via running and triathlon I cannot express how much they all truly mean to me. I rarely run alone anymore and I don't mind it at all. I mentored/paced most of 2016 through our Fleet Feet's training programs and I had the same group of ladies throughout. Logging the hundreds of miles together we really got to know one another!

Fun at the water stop! 
Mentoring is such an enjoyable & rewarding experience. I get to unload the years of knowledge I have gained through running onto newbies. You forget what fun it was to hit new milestones, and all the odd little tricks you learn to get through runs and injuries.

We first started out during Winter Warriors last year, this was my third out of the four years of the program that I have mentored. The first meeting was tonight for this year and it was so exciting to see new & familiar faces. I love winter running so it's a natural fit for me. We had a few weeks at the start of the program last year before the snow fell, but we trekked through it all. Crazy snow piles at intersections, icy patches on the sidewalks and some pretty cold days. But knowing these ladies would all be there depending on me made it fun to show up week in and week out.

Snow angels on our final night before race day!
Finish line party!!
After Winter Warriors we kicked off spring training with the goal race of the Cellcom Half Marathon in Green Bay. We added in some speed work on the weeknight training once the ice cleared away. Nobody had much experience with this so it was fun to watch the progress over the 2.5 months. They also got to find out the fun of Magic Mile night! Using their time they had their target paces for the speedwork nights and their long run paces. We do it once a month in the program so it's fun to watch them progress. Race day was such a party, I don't think I stopped smiling even though it was a crazy hot day!
Ah, look at those quads!!

Awesome spectators make for great photos!
Mentors excited for beer!!

We had a small gap before the summer training program kicked off, so we ran the 40th Bellin Run for fun. Right when we started Meb was rounding the final corner and we stopped to watch and cheer him into the finish. A toasty hot day as usual for this race, lots of water and ice was dumped everywhere!!

 Most of these ladies went on to tackle their first marathon this year, I may have helped talk them into this.
Cheesehead Half marathon a month out from race day!
Pre-race jitters on the big day! 

It's so rewarding to watch them surpass goals they never thought possible! I was able to help several ladies to PR's over the course of the year too. I love watching their continued successes and look forward to continue being a part of their journeys.

I love when running overlaps real life, Bobbi got married 6 days after her first marathon!! We had a lovely reunion and our spouses all got to finally meet each other. We danced most of the night away, overall it was a great night and we relived our race day experiences.
We're off to the races!

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