One of My First ‘Lasts’

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. No, really, it was merely a busy Thursday. I’ve just always wanted to write that as an introduction to something.

But today really wasn’t any mere Thursday at all. This Thursday just so happened to mark my last run with the Godiva crew before I move home. This Thursday was bittersweet.

I was looking forward to a nice, easy, conversation filled run with a few friends but quickly found that plan amiss. My week-long multilevel model training included a happy hour get together at 5:00 p.m. today, and I had planned to stay for a short while before leaving to meet up for our weekly jaunt – “flat” night, a.k.a. four miles out and back on the American Tobacco Trail at 6:00 p.m.

I knew I’d be cutting it close but thought I could pull both off.

At 5:33 p.m., I had excused myself from the par-tay and was off. What you’re about to read is NOT exemplary behavior. Déjà vu much? I wish I could tell you that I’m not always this hot a mess. Well, I could, but it would be a lie. *Sigh.*

I stopped at Walgreens to get some cash from the ATM, walked back to my car in a nearby garage, changed into my running attire in the driver’s seat – yes, that happened – paid my parking fee, proceeded to head toward I-40 – tying my hair back and putting on my socks, running shoes, and watch at a few stoplights along the way – upon which reaching I drove quite speedily to the Fayetteville Road exit.

I arrived at 6:07 p.m. and later found out that I had juuuuuuuust missed everyone else by a few mere minutes. That may not sound like much, but it’s definitely long enough for everyone else to get a good start. At first, I thought I’d take my time and catch everyone on their way back. That would have meant going about the first half of the run solo – LAME, especially given this was my last Godiva run! There was only one solution.

So much for a relaxing run – Time to haul a#%!

I was excited and finally able to relax when I did catch up to one of the runners just after the 2 ½ mile mark along the course. We then quickly caught up with two others. Aaaaaand the rest of my run was complete!

Afterward, I was met with a most pleasant surprise. Carolyn, whose cameo appearance in a previous post you may recall when dubbed as one half of the most extraordinaire of post-running feast hosts, had not only made a special trip all the way to our meeting spot to see me off but also bought me my very own Godiva technical tee:

Aww! I love it!

Aww! I love it!

I chatted with her and Jim – her husband and the other half of the aforementioned winged feet dynamic duo – for a little while before heading out, and I was a bit saddened. Carolyn, Jim, and the other Godivans were the first real friends I made when first moving to NC just shy of exactly two years ago.

No matter how unhappy I felt about being in NC during that time, they were a constant source of friendship. A fixed factor in a multilevel model with varying slopes and intercepts accounting for a significant amount of variance in the dependent variable of FUN I’ve had while in NC. Yeah, yeah, I know – Nerd alert! Cut me some slack. I’ve been in an intensive statistical course for four days strong now.

I will proudly wear my new Godiva technical tee next Thursday – and many others – at the Irish Snug; and I look forward to seeing Carolyn, Jim, and many other friends at another Godiva run sometime during a visit. Just by being themselves, they single-handedly gave me some footing on loose gravel, a sense of arch support, so to speak, at a time that I really needed it. They’ve been very good to me.

And this nerd in running shoes won’t ever forget it.

Melissa Mincic studies child development at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a long-time road and trail runner. Follow Melissa on Twitter at @nerdinrunshoes.

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