This morning, for the first time, I connected last year's marathon training (my friend Joselyn who ran a sub 3:30 last year and who had not trained with the Charm City Run group in the winter) with this year's winter/spring training (my friend Erik with whom I've now run twice between training seasons), with my love for baking (I made homemade bagels before going to Druid Hill Park to meet up with Joselyn and Erik) all in one. That was pretty cool.
My two running friends helped to tie together all my training over the past 12 months. My goal for the next four months is to be able to keep up with Joselyn (and bring along a couple other runners along the way). I would not say that Erik's goal is to keep up with me, but I think he has the potential and just has to get used to (a) pushing himself a little harder and (b) the heat and humidity. Joselyn and I made a pact on how to help each other improve this year. Our last pact was right after the marathon last year to both aim for 3:20 this year. I think she has it in her; it is still a bit of a longshot for me but I have my eye on it. Our new pact--she will push me on hills and I will push her on the track. Each of us has something mental that we have to overcome to improve on a part of our running. In the meantime, I just try to encourage Erik and be there to push him as much as he wants to be pushed. I get some and I give some. It all comes around.
The baking is something that is just a part of what I do. I simply hope to find time to bake before more Saturday runs, so that I can share bagels, salty soft pretzels, or other stuff with my fellow runners on other Saturday mornings.
It is a great way to be able to pull together parts of my life. Hope to continue doing that for a long time to come.