April 17, 2012
Marta Ruggles, District Manager

Last Saturday morning my alarm went off at 5:00 am (even early for me on a Saturday).  After snoozing a couple of times, I grumbled as I got out of bed……13.1 miles to run, it is dark and 38 degrees outside, and I just knew I had lost my mind.  My next thoughts – how did I end up committing to do this, and could I get out of it?  To answer the latter first –  no I had come this far and I was not going to chuck all my hard work just to sleep in on a chilly morning. As for how I committed to run the Charlottesville Half Marathon, I will blame Rie. 

After the St Pete’s run, Rie and I were having a conversation about setting some running goals.  She was hot to run the C’ville half marathon.  At the time, it sounded fun, challenging, manageable, and….a long way off.  I also know myself – I do better with goals…gives me something to focus on and yes, it helps me to have a buddy trying to reach the same goal.  So before I thought to much more about it, I agreed. 

Through the years, Rie and I have had many runs together.  Unfortunately, while we were training for this race, our schedules did not allow us to run much together.   Training for this was very different, and at times very challenging.  We both had to complete a lot of long runs "on our own". 

As difficult as that was, it helped knowing that someone else was working as hard as I was to reach the same goal.  Sure, it is much easier and more fun to run and train together, but when that is not possible, what do you do?  You adjust, dig deeper, hold each other accountable, encourage when the other succeeds, and lift each other up when one gets tired or needs help. 

This is not about the distance – for me 13.1 miles was the right stretch.  For others, it may be a 5K, committing to hot yoga, or for Tanya, a marathon. Or, it may be learning to play the piano, quitting smoking or getting your spend downs completed on time, all the time.  Bottom line, in my humble opinion, it helps to have a buddy to reach your goals.  So….who can be your buddy?  Who can help you reach your next goal?  Who can you help reach theirs? 

As for the C’ville half marathon – by the time we started at 6:30, it had warmed up to a toasty 44 degrees.  A few miles out on Barracks Road toward Foxfield, the sun was rising over the fields, spring was in full bloom, horses were roaming in pastures, and no cars – just a couple thousand folks running along trying to meet their goal.  It was absolutely beautiful and well worth all the training, hard work, grumping and effort.  In that moment, I didn’t care about time, being cold, or really anything but being grateful for being there….and especially for having a running partner who helped make it possible.