This year I set out with a simple goal of being more adventurous in my running. While I have had a few races and goals along the way, going new places, running new trails and being fully engulfed in the adventure of each day is what has driven my winter and spring.
Not quite two years ago, I was very lucky in joining Clif Bar – a company that inspires and encourages the need for adventure. Just walking around the office, looking at the walls and listening to people talk, creates this desire to get outside and go explore. It’s very much contagious around here.
Not long after I started, I found myself settling into a weekly running routine with a group of women. Every Tuesday, rain or shine, we meet and head out for a run. I still remember one particularly stormy morning not long after I started, when we braved the pouring rain and howling wind for our weekly run. Everyone was there, no one backed out and we all went running and laughed at the ridiculousness of the situation while doing it. At that moment, I knew I liked these women. We all are in somewhat different departments and all at somewhat different stages of life, but the roads and trails bring us together weekly. It’s a safe place where we can vent when need be, laugh more often than not, and generally just find a comfort in knowing that every Tuesday, we have a friend to run with.
In January of this year, I sent an email out to the group about the San Francisco Marathon, which quickly switched topics to going on an adventure inspired by some co-workers adventures last year. The discussions started, then the more serious brainstorming began and before I knew it, our adventure run was happening.
We set some parameters and figured out a location and route that would benefit everyone. Dates were finalized, training plans were penciled into the calendar, fueling was practiced, hydration packs were purchased, a house was rented, and many, many miles were ran. We started meeting 30 minutes earlier than normal to squeeze in a few extra miles on our weekly runs, and time ticked on by. Due to injury and other commitments, our group sadly shrunk by a couple runners, but four of us – Cristen, Lauren, Caron and I – are ready to go. Suddenly here we are, a few days out from the big adventure run we have been talking about for months.
Not only am I excited to get out and explore a part of California I haven’t been to, but I am so excited to share this experience with this group of women. My favorite runs this year haven’t been the ones that were focused on mileage or time, they have been the ones that I am sharing an experience with great friends in beautiful places, and I just happen to be running at the same time. I always say that the best way to get to know someone is to go on a long run with them and this will be no different. Although I do feel like I know these women pretty well from our Tuesday runs, I am excited to take that to a different level and create some lifelong memories along the way – because over the course of 30+ miles on unfamiliar trails, there are bound to be at least a few stories and memories.
As we head into this journey, I was struck by a quote last week from Clif Bar’s founder Gary Erickson that I want to make sure we keep with us along the way:
“Be patient. Embrace the unknown.”
Happy adventuring everyone!