I've said it many times before, but I'll say it again. I have a GREAT group of running friends. There is something about the time spent running and chatting that brings people closer, and that not only applies to my morning crew, but other girls as well who run with me from time to time. These friendships are the lasting kind - the ones where we spend miles upon miles sharing our stories, laughing, consoling, discussing or talking training strategy for our next race.
Not only does running with friends build strong, lasting friendships, it provides other things as well. I believe there is safety in numbers, and in order for many of us to get in the miles we want each day, we've got to start running in the wee, dark hours of the morning. Depending on the season, time running in the dark can be short or long, and we've had many runs that started and ended in the dark. But having such a herd (or gaggle) of women with me, I feel that I can run anywhere at any time. Some of us carry mace, some carry lights, and all watch out for the other when it comes to tripping on branches, holes in the road, sprinklers, dogs, skunks - all the things we come across as we run in these dark morning hours.
Recently one of our number moved out of town, but we keep up with her through e-mail and some of us occasionally see her and her husband at races. Her name is Angie and at the Chicago marathon, she gave Katie a blinky light in the form of a ring. When Katie returned from her trip and wore the light on one of our morning runs, the rest of us decided we needed one too. Katie found them on Amazon.com and ordered a box.
And the rings have been a hit! They flash in multiple colors, so that cars and other pedestrians can see us coming from a long way off. One runner commented that it looked "weird" to see us coming up the hill with all of these flashing lights but... at least he saw us! The rings are rubbery and stretchy, so we can wear them with gloves on the colder days. This particular brand does not last overly long, so we are on the lookout for something a little more sturdy, but in a pinch these have worked great and been fun.
So a big thanks to Angie for giving Katie the blinky ring, and to Katie for helping us all get one. There's nothing like feeling safe and sassy on a morning run with friends.