Monday, February 20, 2012

Running Buddy: Nick

I'm digging for rocks on the left
(which makes sense because that's generally a job I end up with).
Saturday I went to Bend of Ivy where Andrea and Tim have recently taken up residence and responsibilities. Andrea will start farming come spring, and she put a call out for help in building the hoop house where she’ll start all the plants that will grow, green, and nourish us all summer.
We used these drills to make tables where all the seedlings will get their start in this world.

The whole construction project came together so much easier this time around. This was the second time I helped put it together, and I think the experience of the first time made this assembly so much smoother, plus there was slightly less of a perfectionist approach.
A goodbye hug.
On my way home that afternoon I drove along Bailey Rd. As I passed by a church a runner was stretching beside his Jeep. Being gregarious and always on the prowl for running partners in Mars Hill, I turned around at the next available driveway and returned to the parking lot where I’d seen him. He was in his car by then and I thought I had missed my opportunity to talk up a new friend. I turned around to leave, and noticed his window down. I pulled in front of him, blocking his exit, rolled down my window and started a chat to see if he would be interesting in running together sometime.

He said he runs kind of slow – at an 8 minute pace – which made me wonder if he would feel comfortable at a 10 minute pace. I suggested that we try it once and see how it goes. He sent me a text and over the next couple hours we decided on a 9 a.m. run on Monday.

This morning I returned to the church parking lot where I met him a few days earlier; I was early so I got to take advantage of the time to stretch (which I really should do more of before runs anyway).

His footfall was heavy. I could imagine hearing the cartilage of his knees vibrating in the aftershock of the thuds as we started our run.

We couldn’t be more different and yet I think we seemed fairly well paired for the running. Ten years my junior Nick is just starting his law enforcement career, after lots of other employment – the military, car dealership, door-to-door insurance salesmen (who knew that job still exists!). He works in the Madison County Sherriff’s Office and is applying to join the ranks of the N.C. State Troopers. He 4-wheels his Jeep to remote areas of Forest Service roads. I walk to them.

We kept a brisk pace that was likely faster than a 10-minute mile for a three-mile loop on Bailey and Bruce roads. We carried on pleasant conversation and may well make good running buddies. I could at the very least use the sustained motivation of Monday morning runs with someone to hold me accountable.

No comments: