Friday, February 20, 2009

Running Friends Part 1

I've been a part of an online running community for years now. I joined way back in 2004 when I was falling hard for running and had no clue how to go about training. I had so many questions and randomly came across an online forum at I was drawn to the marathon forum even then because I knew at some point I was going to want to run a marathon.

I joined an online game made up of random members who every week would post their weekly miles run. There were teams and each team vied for having the most miles run for the week. There were around 20 members on each team and 9 or 10 teams total. I was a pretty new runner when a space opened up on Team 3 - The Thoroughbreds. I hadn't even run my first half marathon but I was training for it.

Various software upgrades later and the mileage game is still going strong years later and I'm still a member of Team 3 although I've moved to a different running forum. I've met a few members of my team who I have known for years online. In fact, I pick races based on who from the forums and from my team will be at races. And as I've found out, meeting fellow forumites (as they are so styled) is very rewarding.

SuperRun (aka Ron) has been the captain of Team 3 ever since I've been on it. As an runner who is looking to almost his fifth decade of running, he's got a huge amount of knowledge which I've come to appreciate over the years. he's dispensed advice and humor to this newbie for years!

A couple years ago he went through a life altering event with a serious DVT. In the last couple of years as my father-in-law, brother-in-law and husband have all had clotting issues, Ron and I had much (too much sometimes) to discuss. When my brother-in-law first presented symptoms of a clot in his calf, I was pretty certain what he was dealing with and pushed for him to go to the doctor. It was only because of Ron's experiences that I knew the dangers of DVT in athletes.

Ron lives in Orange Country where I grew up and has a fierce dachshund who used to race at Los Alamitos Race Track. I lived less than a mile from this track so thinking about racing dachshunds just makes me giggle with delight. Ron has not been able to race lately so there hasn't been the opportunity to meet him at such a venue. Finally I just decided I needed to meet him regardless and on a trip to San Diego, I would make a trip out to the old 'hood to meet this online dad. And that is how I think of him.

We met at the Richard Nixon Library which opened just a few years before we left Southern California. Ron has a favorite running/multiuse trail which goes right by this easy to find landmark. Of course, on the day I'm driving from San Diego it was pouring. It's a good thing I'm used to rain and so I dragged Ron out for a run. Being a southern californian I knew he'd not be used to running in the rain!

We did a short out and back along a really nice trail. Ron had just recently recovered from a bout of flu, so the short run was perfect. We chatted and chatted and Ron showed me the interesting sites along the trail. A mini horse, a couple of donkeys and a couple of miniature goats. It was rather odd as this just felt like a subdivision but I guess smaller animals are allowed. Not too many years ago this area would've been farmland and orchards. The local girls and boys track teams were out for their runs so we got a lot of friendly "good mornings" from the kids.

Afterwards we went to the local Pancake House for the best apple pancake i have ever had. Apples in a caramelized syrup baked into a pancake. I had tons of coffee and we just continued to chat. As with any runner I've met over the years, there is much to talk about. It just continues to show me that doing something you love will only bring great happiness in countless and unexpected ways. I was so glad I made this trip and it was with regrets that i had to tear myself away after such a wonderful morning.

I can't wait for my next apple pancake!

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