As part of my fundraiser and half marathon training for Team Challenge for Crohn’s and Colitis, I’m creating Flat Running Buddies. What’s a Flat Running Buddy? It’s kind of like a Flat Stanley. You send me your picture, I go running with flat you, and then I post the story of our run here on my blog.
About two months ago, I posted a run with my first Flat Running Buddy, Kayla. She sent me a photo from a two-day trek in Colca Canyon that inspired me so much I decided she needed to come on two runs with me in honor of the two-day trek. For the first run, we ran indoors on the treadmill and the track. For the second run, we went outside on a quiet rural road last Sunday.
I was visiting friends in Great Bend, a small town in Pennsylvania. Kayla is from a small town in Pennsylvania so the landscape seemed perfect to make her my buddy. We set out early while it was still cool enough that I broke in my long-sleeve Pittsburgh half marathon t-shirt, which is comfy and breathable enough that I didn’t get too warm even in the sun. It was also cool enough that I started wheezing right away, but after a puff of my inhaler, a minute walking, and a smile from Kayla, we were running with ease.
Kayla and I loved the break from city life. As we ran along the road we could hear the creek churning over the rocks, babbling along with the songs of morning birds. I’ve been running in the city so long, that I’d forgotten the noises of the country, how numerous the birds are and how varied the songs. The cadence of the creek made it easy to keep to the “easy” pace I need to be running as the half marathon in Chicago approaches.
We ran over a bridge above the creek and watched the fog lift from the mountains. We ran out of Great Bend and into the town of Windsor where pine trees line the edge of the road.
We turned back where the road became windy and narrow, preferring the safety and sun of the straight, wide road back towards my friends’ house. Not long after we turned back, I saw a big blue sign ahead of us: Welcome to Pennsylvania. We ran far enough north that we strode into New York state without even realizing it.
By the end, this was one of those runs that keep runners running: easy, scenic, with a good friend by my side. When I arrived at my friends’ house, the rest of them were just waking up, making coffee, perfect timing for me to stretch, have a banana, and rest with them before we started our day.
Do you want to be a Flat Running Buddy? Donate $50 to CCFA through my link by May 28, 2014 and I’ll make you one! Donate here: http://www.active.com/donate/chicagoNATIONAL14/TCEHutton