Friday, July 3, 2015

TIMELESS?

Running is timeless.

Wait, let me rephrase that. Running is all about time.

We strive to achieve our personal best times each time we race.

We glance obsessively at our watches when we train.

We overextend those last few strides when we near the finish line of a speed workout.

Each day we hope we will be able to find the time to squeeze workout into our busy schedules.

But, in my experience, running IS timeless. Maybe I'm one of the lucky ones, but yesterday I logged 5 miles on a beautiful, shaded mountain trail with a friend of 38 years, Brian Tonitis. Although our race times have diminished with the passage of time, we still check our splits, we talk about races, about who's running well and who isn't. Like senior citizens on the bench at the mall, we reminisce about old times, and we talk about the glory days of road racing.

In August, I'll travel 100 miles south to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, where I'll run the annual Tom Ausherman Memorial 5-Mile race. The race is conducted by my friend and rival for over 30 years, John Ausherman, in honor of his late father, a pioneer of running in Southern Pennsylvania. John and I have run countless races together, but more than that, we have attended each other's daughters weddings, our families have vacationed together, and we have hunted elk in Colorado. Whenever we get together, we include a brisk run into our schedule.

And, with both Brian and John, I have run with their sons, Matt and Tommy, both excellent runners in their own right.

In a couple of weeks, Wayne Parfitt will travel from Newport News, Virginia to visit his family here in town. We will run together, and we will unpause the pause button and pick up where we left off, having run the Boston Marathon together, all the way back in 1984.

All these outstanding individuals are members of the Cast of Characters, a chapter in my first book, Running Shorts. www.muldowneyrunning.com

Running is an individual endeavor, but your running partners can motivate, you, pull you along to faster race times, encourage you, and even counsel you. Good running partners can be as essential as a good pair of running shoes.

Keep your friends close, but keep your running friends even closer.

Through them, your running can become timeless.