A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Very Crispy Morning

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I pretty much run by myself ALL. THE TIME. But would you believe it if I told you I used to run with a group every freakin' weekend!?

When I first started training for a marathon, I ran with Team In Training a few times. My mother-in-law was sort of a pseudo coach for them at the time, so I was allowed to join them for a few runs- even though I wasn't technically a member. (I did bring water to donate so I wouldn't be using their resources.)

At the time, there were a lot of past Team In Training runners who weren't running with the team anymore, but still enjoyed the camaraderie of running long with friends. So a little "off shoot" running club was formed. Anyone was allowed to join. You didn't have to be a past Team In Training runner. We called ourselves the Crispy Balance Running Group- "Crispies" for short.

We were pretty consistent for years. Someone would host a run on Saturday around the Harrisburg area. The host would design the course, print directions, and set out water stops. Sometimes the host would run and sometimes they would crew. There was even a point where Saturdays were road runs and Sundays were trail runs. I met most of my best running friends from the Crispy Balance.

I trained for all but 2 of my marathons with the Crispies. I ran my first Boston Marathon with three other members of the club. I trained for my 50 miler with the club and ran it with one of my friends I met through the club. I really can't count the number of wonderful friendships I have developed from running with these cool people. Some of them have infiltrated into my life and are more than just "running friends", and some of them are just "running friends". And that is okay. There is room in my life for all types of friends! And even if it's someone I only see on runs, and I haven't seen them in a year, we pick up right back where we left off. It's very easy to talk and bond with someone on a run.

Even though we were consistent for years, somewhere in the past year or so, we stopped planning runs. There would be the occasional meet up where 2-3 people would show, but nothing like the huge group runs of the past.

Until yesterday morning!

Yesterday, I was lucky enough to attend a Crispy Run! I saw a lot of my Crispy Friends and it was so refreshing to run with a group again! We met at 8:00am on City Island in Harrisburg. It was pretty cold, but I managed to dress correctly and felt comfortable throughout the whole run. I ran up ahead with my friend Charlie, who is a challenge to keep up with. I know I will have a good run if I stick with Charlie, so that is what I did!

I don't have any pictures from yesterday because I forgot my camera, but I do have pictures from past Crispy Runs and races that I thought I would share with you. We really are a fun group! As you can see, we are very silly, love themed runs, and don't take ourselves too seriously...

We love taking group shots before a run.
I guess it was windy that day...

Me, Deb, Anne, and Jeff before a freakishly hot December Trail run.

After our run. It was a little muddy.

Speaking of mud, I ran a Warrior Dash with Paul and two Crispies- Mary and Steve.

My favorite picture of me and Anne- we just ran 50 miles!

A famous New Year's Day scavenger hunt run...

For the New Year's run, we find little things along the course we must wear, take with us, or drink... like silly hats and beer.
That's my mother-in-law, Deb, and Crispy Runner Charlie (the one I try to keep up with).

I remember this year- we finished the New Year's run arm in arm, running across the covered bridge as a single unit of craziness!

Then of course there is the Spring Formal Prom Run.
We always stop on the Harrisburg Capitol steps to take a picture.

Jeff, Tammy, and I after running the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon.

Me, Deb, Donna, and Chris at Boston #1!

Me and Tracy during a group run. I look rough!

A few of the Crispy Girls (Olivia, me, Jennifer, Tracy, and Anne) posing outside
one of the port-o-john's we sponsored at the Phunt 50k.
The race never had bathrooms so we brought the bathroom with us!

The sign on the door.
Have you ever been part of a running group?


  1. OK, girlfriend, that picture of you after the 50 miler is amazing! You look awesome. In fact, in almost all your post run pics you look that way. Not fair. My face is a red, blotchy mess after a run. LOL.

    So cool you met up with the group yesterday. I am sure it was super fun and just a refreshing change of environment.

    Since I run SO early I always run alone. For a few years, my friend Carol and I would meet 2 x per week and run and I didn't think I would love it but it was so fun. Then she had a baby and her life didn't allow that anymore.

    I would love to join a group but with my life, my schedule and how my body does best with early workouts, I don't think that will happen. So, just me and the dog (I take her for a mile then drop her off at home and keep going) and my thoughts.

    Have a great Sunday.

    1. I would love to have a dog to run with, that would be so cool! :)

      I can't believe the 50 mile picture either. I look worse getting out of the bed in the morning than I do in that picture. The only thing I can think of is that I was only like 27 at the time, so maybe that helped me in not looking so haggard!? But Anne was about 50 at the time and she looks 16 in that pic so I don't get it!? It was a great day though. :)

    2. I think it is because (1) you are beautiful and (2) you were just in your sweet spot of doing what you love with a dear friend! Your happiness literally glows off your face!

      Oh, yes, Macy (our red lab) is a great training partner. Rain, cold, snow (and I would say "shine" but the sun is never up when we go out) she is always ready to go. I only take her for a mile running because that is all she needs (she's 8) and I think it isn't great for your form if you have to hold a leash. But if we walk only, we can go up to 5 miles and she is a champ! I know Rick always feels much better when I am with her because she is 80 pounds and even though a sweetie, I know she would protect me if needed.

    3. I love that about dogs- how protective they are!

  2. Who runs 50 miles and looks like that? Apparently, you probably could have run another 50 so we might actually believe you... ;) I trained for my first marathon with Team In Training when I lived in Houston. It was a great way to learn about distance running, train with others for those long miles, and feel connected to something bigger. I will never forget that experience. Nowadays, I do most of my running alone, but do like to join different groups from time to time.

    1. That is awesome that you ran with Team! I don't know how I would have trained for my first race if I hadn't had a group of seasoned marathon runners who could teach me what to do.

  3. I love all of your running group pictures!! The scavenger hunt sounds like so much fun!

    I have been thinking about joining a local running group, but I just haven't pulled the trigger yet.

    I ran a few miles with the group I'm thinking about joining at the Fort Lauderdale half and they were super nice ladies.... but at around mile 8 I was over all the talking and just needed to disconnect so I could run alone. I love the idea of running with people, but in the end I love using running as "me time."

    1. I totally understand. There are definitely times I just LOVE being alone with my pod casts. And the only other problem with group runs is not knowing if someone else is going to be running your pace. I remember being left in the dust on group runs and having to run alone anyway, and I have had times where I was the one who wanted to truck that day so I was out ahead on my own. The best times is when there is someone who runs your pace and you can stick with them.

  4. I have run with running groups sporadically, but it's hard for me to commit. I never seem to bond really well with anyone and I really like making my own schedule. Most running groups here meet at 7am, which is way too late for me...even on weekends, by 7 in the summer it's steaming hot! I never understand why they don't start earlier. Maybe I should start and early-riser running group!

    1. I can't even IMAGINE how hot it is there! I mean, we have some pretty hot days in the summer, but anytime before 9am, even on the hottest days would be fine.

  5. Sounds and looks like a super fun running group!!
    No - I haven't been part of a running group since my college days.

  6. How do you look SO beautiful after having run 50 miles?!? It doesn't even look like you had started running. I love, love, love this post. The running community is amazing. I am making some good friends through the running club I recently joined and I am loving it. It's super hard to make friends as an adult, but it's easy to talk about pretty much anything while you're on a long run.

    1. That day was THE PERFECT DAY. I can't explain it. I felt awesome the whole race. Oh, and I totally agree- it's so easy to talk about ANYTHING during a run! In fact, I tend to over share. :)

  7. It's great to have company for those 18 and 20 mile runs! Shorter runs, sometimes it's nice to just do them on your OWN terms.