Do you know what I have been LIVING for lately? There is a tiny little widget on my watch that shows me what time the sun rises and sets each day. Every day since mid-December I’ve been watching that tiny little ray of sunshine add minutes of daylight to the time each evening and it makes me so happy! Today the sun set at 5:13pm but tomorrow it’ll be 5:14pm. One. Whole. Minute…..which as all you runners know, can be a very long time.
I feel like most of us are looking forward to this break in the rain and it comes just in time! Our Hot Chocolate 5k fun run and walk with Running Warehouse and Brooks shoes is this Saturday, January 21st at 8am. Join us for a 3.5-mile fun run and walk around Templeton with complementary hot chocolate and raffle prizes after the run. We’ll start and finish at 15C Wine Shop and Bar at 624 Main St where they will have food and beverages for purchase afterwards.
For those of you that run or walk along Vineyard Dr. in Templeton, you have may have noticed that there is not one crosswalk in the nearly two mile stretch between Templeton High School and Vineyard Elementary School. San Luis Obispo County is asking residents to share their input as they move forward with the Vineyard Drive Corridor Plan to improve safety, traffic congestion and access. When you have a few minutes, please take the time to fill out the survey and share your thoughts! (And mention that we’d love for them to include a safe place to cross!)
Finally, as promised in my previous post, we have opened this Blog up to run club members willing to share their thoughts, insights, and personal experiences with running. Please email me if you would like to contribute!
Happy Running friends!
Templeton Run Club
PO Box 522
Templeton, CA. 93465
Running for life!
by Angie Britton
As we enter the New Year, I am reflecting on my lifelong passion; running.
I started running in 8th grade. I joined the track team as a sprinter and a jumper (long jump, triple jump and hurdles) and I continued this trend through high school. I started running cross-country when I was a junior, at the recommendation of my track coach. He said it would improve my sprinting ability more than volleyball. I guess I agreed with him, so I tried it. I was only moderately good at distance running and I really don’t think I enjoyed it much. Of course, we lived in the desert, and we ran at 3 o’clock in the afternoon when the temperature was usually hovering around 100 degrees. …not ideal running conditions. Once I graduated from high school, I continued to run because I enjoyed keeping track of my times and competing against the clock.
I got married and became a mom shortly after graduating from high school, and had two kids before I turned 20. I ran early on in my pregnancies, but back then I was advised by my doctor to stop when my heart rate got above 120 – which basically meant I couldn’t run at all. Try it sometime! It’s impossible to keep your heart rate that low! This was in the 80’s, and luckily times have changed! Now they have realized the benefits of continuing your fitness program when you’re pregnant. Anyways, I was back at it as soon as I could be. I used to time my runs with my trusty Timex Ironman watch with a lap counter. It was the bomb!
In my late 20’s and 30’s I was busy with a high-stress career and by this time I had four sons, so I cherished my solitude while running. It was my “me time”. For many years, I would get home from work, lace up my running shoes and head out the door. I was free from the chaos of life for a few short minutes. I didn’t need company and in those days we didn’t have iPods or cell phones to take our music with us, so it was just me and the sounds of my feet pounding the pavement and my rhythmic breathing. I would spend this time pondering, problem-solving and praying. It was my therapy. Luckily, my husband was VERY supportive. I think he learned early on in our relationship that if I didn’t get my run in, we would ALL suffer! Eventually, I moved into the 21st century when my husband (who’s a gadget guy) bought me my first Garmin. I’ve had several versions over the years, but I remember the first one was almost as big as my fist! Friends would suggest running together, but I wanted to run on my own terms at my own pace. Except for the occasional 5 or 10k, I didn’t want to make running a social event.
As the kids grew older they all played sports. Life after work became too busy to fit in a run, but I still needed the mental outlet. That’s when I switched to running before work. I would get my clothes & shoes ready the night before, so all I had to do was slip them on, brush my teeth, throw my hair in a ponytail and head out the door. I discovered how peaceful mornings are! Often, it was still dark, and I would get to watch the sunrise. It was mesmerizing. I would enter a race every now and then to motivate me to run faster, and I joined the San Luis Distance Club to keep up on the local races and monitor the times of the other runners. I attended their track workout a couple of times, but it usually didn’t fit into my work schedule.
In my early 40’s my husband and I decided that I needed to quit my job and stay home to finish raising the boys. I grew up as a latchkey kid, so I am very familiar with the trouble that a kid can conjure up when left to his own devices. Once I ended my career, I was able to run whenever I wanted, and however far I wanted while the kids were in school. No more scheduling my runs around family commitments and work obligations. I LOVED running and I LOVED the freedom! It was not unusual for me to run six or seven days a week! I actually had to force myself to take a day OFF from running so that I didn’t injure myself! I was having the time of my life! I was truly blessed to be able to run for so many years injury free!
It was during these years that I discovered the joy of running when we went on vacation. It was a great way to go exploring! I eventually came up with the idea that I’d like to run a race in every state.
It’s been slow going. I’ve run in 16 states so far, and to date we have mostly just found a race to run wherever we happen to be vacationing. I’ve recently decided that if I’m going to get this done before I’m dead, I had better start going to places JUST to run a race! We’ve only done this a couple of times so far; the most memorable being when we flew to Denver in January of 2018 to run a 5k. We got the oddest looks from people when we told them we were there just to run a race – IN JANUARY!! One weekend
I was able to knock out three races – one on a Friday night (a “moonlight run”) and then races on Saturday AND Sunday mornings. That was back east, where the states are closer together, and the timing just lined up. All my races have been small-town types of runs. In I have found they are logistically less hassle.
Now I’m in my 50’s and my kids are all grown. My life is relatively stress free, so the NEED to run for my mental health has waned a bit. A few years ago I came to grips with the fact that I have slowed down. It was a hard reality. I guess it’s just one of the downsides of running for so many years. Every runner peaks, but since I’ve been running for nearly 45 years, I peaked long ago. Unfortunately, it’s taken a toll on my motivation.
A couple of years ago, I put out a post to a Facebook Group inquiring if there were any “Turkey Trots” being run in the area. This was in 2020, so most races were shut down due to COVID. Templeton Run Club responded that they were having one – an informal run from the park on Thanksgiving Day for anyone who wanted to join. I showed up that day and I was hooked! Me – the SOLO runner! I discovered that I LIKE running with others! We don’t necessarily run together – but we warm up together, we take a picture, we discuss the route, and then we usually stretch afterwards together as we laugh and enjoy each other’s company. I may or may not run with someone, depending on who is there and how fast and far we run, but we start together before we each settle into our own pace. We are all ages and varied levels of speed and abilities. I can run as far as little as I want when we meet – there is no pressure. …but I know that they will be there cheering me on, just as I am there for them.
My mother-in-law gave me a journal for my 29th birthday. I decided to use it as a running log. It has made it easier to keep track of my runs and I’ve been logging them ever since. It’s fun to look back at the progress I’ve made over the years, and remember the races and places I’ve run in our travels, and at the different places we’ve lived. Since joining the Templeton Run Club, I have fond memories of Ugly Christmas Sweater Runs, Pub Runs, ranch runs, runs in the rain and beautiful early morning runs with the sun shining through the trees and our noses pink from the chill in the air. I am so grateful to my friends with the Templeton Run Club! We come from all walks of life, but our love of running has created a lasting bond.
See you at the next run!