On Wednesday night, the TrySports Mt. Pleasant Ambassador team had a bowling social at The Alley. Located downtown on Upper King Street, The Alley is the closest you can get to a Dave and Buster’s without leaving Charleston. There’s 8 lanes of retro bowling, arcade games, skee ball, a full bar, and a food menu. In traditional Charleston style, the menu is pretty gourmet for a bowling alley- think braised pork belly and French bread pizzas, rather than nachos with glowing cheese or over buttered popcorn.
Not all of our team members made it out, but it was neat seeing those who did and hanging out. It’s not often we hang out looking like real human beings instead of sweaty, hot, post-run (or post-bike, post-swim, post-triathlon) messes. Turns out, we clean up quite nicely.
When I started running, I never thought of it as a team sport- at least outside of the high school/college level. That’s probably what drew me to it- it was all my hard work, and success didn’t depend on others who may or may not have put in 100% effort. In the past year, my mindset’s changed dramatically. Since I started training for half marathons, and especially now in my training for my 26.2 mile fun run- I depend on my “team”. Sure, it’s my body that I’m fueling, hydrating, and my legs that are running- but I couldn’t do it without my training partners.
We distract each other on long runs, keep track of mileage when someone’s watch dies, offer up whatever gatorade or gels we have in our cars post-run, take walk breaks when someone’s hurting, and patiently wait outside porta-johns when digestive disasters occur. I’ve also found a great group of girls to do speedwork with on Tuesday mornings. Kindal, Katie, Michelle and I meet to run at the track and it’s always a great workout; this week’s was 400s and 800s. It’s hard to see results in the summer heat and humidity (and no races!), but we’ll run like unleashed animals this Fall. And we’ll be thankful for those intense workouts where we pushed each other (thanks Kindal for the pic).
I’ll toe the start line alone on September 28, when my training partners have a few weeks to go until their marathons, but I can’t help but believe they’ll be with me in spirit. Even when we race, we run together- celebrating our victories and encouraging each other through the tough times. The miles forge the friendships, and the friendships last longer than the times on the finish clock.