Do not under estimate the power of our community, the strength of our numbers, the joy of working as one.
Sunday was weekend two of Katy FKT training. Jeff and I met up at Creve Couer park at 6 am to hit up 17 sweet miles, we were also testing out the GoPro I’ve had for 3 years and done pretty much nothing with. The Friday before, Jeff and I had sat and worked on what will be called from this point forth the spreadsheet.
Jeff had strolled into my office with a fairly innocuous question, what pace do you want to run Sunday. An entire lunch hour later, we had mapped out the pace we have to maintain to hit the FKT in April as comfortably as possible. A comfortable 237 miles, that’s kind of a misnomer. We determined several different speeds, where the aid stations had to be, how long we cold spend at them, we were utilizing all of the middle management planning skills we had acquired from desk work. After an hour we determined, this Sunday’s run should be at around 13 minute miles.
Today we were going to be running from the park, over the bridge and picking a direction to run on the Katy for another 8 miles. With temperatures starting at 29, it was time to move essentially right after getting out of the car. Headlamps fired up, we began our trot. Trot is quite possibly the best word to use because that is what 13 minute miles look like, you aren’t running fast, you aren’t trying to, you are simply rolling along comfortably. A ton of books get into the value of running with a group, and talk of running at talking pace. For Jeff and I that pace is around 11-12 minute miles on the flat Katy. This is the pace Jeff and I can run and talk, seemingly to no end.(By no end obviously I mean, at least 237 miles in four days)
So what do two vegan dudes talk about for 3 hours on a Sunday morning? It almost doesn’t matter, we share similar core interests that make most conversation ridiculously simple. On this particular day I think we started off with discussing the ginger runner live episode about the dude that just ran across the country. Truth be told that guy is an absolute beast. We meandered in and out of conversation about our current political situation, our work, our families, the projects ahead, how the camera works, people we admire, and places we want to go.
Friendship is all too often overlooked as a running tool, but in many ways it maybe the strongest.
After around 15 miles or so, in which two we walked on purpose to judge our shared walking pace, Jeff tells me that 17 miles is the furthest training run he’s ever done. This statement is awesome on so many levels; one, he killed it with absolute ease, two, it reminded me of the runs I did with my team in high school. We would do these long slow distance runs that to this day I’m not sure how far we were actually running but it must have been 15 or 20 miles at a time. Those runs were so care free, so easy, I dare so so enjoyable.
Enjoyable is something that is often lost in running. With running we talk about a lot of things, like endurance, pushing limits, the pain cave (our favorite) etc. You can read any number of blogs talking about running as an existential experience, a way to conquer your demons, or a spiritual path. I think all of those could be true, but one often overlooked is the power of community. The Katy FKT is a physical challenge for us but in many ways, it is the impetus to prove and showcase the vegan running community. A community of people that enjoy running and living plant based. Jeff and I are stoked for another big group of miles together, and in truth we hope that we can share those miles with you as well. This is our club, let’s go run