This past long weekend I spent a part of it enjoying some of the best Kananaskis has to offer. My run started at 12:30 pm at the base of Moose mountain road at my fave trail named Pneuma. What makes this trail so awesome is the constant winding uphill climb for a solid 10K, then the trail turns back down and you're spoiled with a fun and zippy steady downhill.
Bright, sunny and warm with no wind and pillowy November snow blanketed everywhere set the scene for a perfect run. The only better way to experience a day like this was to share it, and that I did. My training buddy John Hubbard had texted me the week prior urging me to get off my fat ass and join him on holiday Monday. Together we had plenty of laughs, good conversation and relished running in near perfect conditions.
Johnny and I have been running together for two years and I would be the first to say it's been a very advantageous relationship. He and I both are in similar stages in our own lives: both with young families which ALWAYS comes first and a thirst for a concept of where our bodies and minds can take us athletically. I find that where I lack, he excels and vice-versa. One of many examples is I will push a consistency in training, where John can convey a calmness on a race day that helps me negate several blowups and DNF's. The Alberta winters also present a challenge (the topic of my last post) and knowing that we ARE meeting up for a Friday night long run ,which I'm sure neither of us want to do but neither want to be the first to chicken out, holds us accountable. We are a complicated bunch as ultra runners and at the best of times my family and friends have a hard time getting me when it comes to running. Only in conversations between one runner to another does our babbling come across as sane. It was midnight one Friday night long run and John went on speaking nothing but jibberish for 15 minutes. I called him out on it and proceeded to suggest eating something. Later on that same night, after stopping at McDonalds for some good old gut training we were quiet for a while whereas he turned to me and out of nowhere told me my face looks like ass…now there is a true friend.
Most runners are lucky enough to have a network of people surrounding them that seem to propel them. Within that group are normally one or maybe two that seem to excel your abilities even further. Use them, cuz you better believe that they will benefit just as much as you while training together. If you're not so lucky check out groups like Calgary Trail Runners. Everybody needs a John.