Thursday afternoon, approximately 1:23 p.m. Denver! We were greeted with a gorgeous, sunny day and the sight of beautiful, bluish mountains on the distant horizon, which, a few miles further in on I-70 served as the backdrop for a perfect view of the tall buildings representing downtown.
I was so excited to rejoin my typical Thursday night routine: a run followed by a few pints at the Irish Snug Running Club (ISRC). When 5:45 p.m. rolled around – about the time my fellow Godivians were chatting it up after just having finished the weekly Thursday run in NC – I grabbed my bag, jumped on my (friend Joe’s) bike, and headed off to the Irish Snug.
Truth be told, I was a mite nervous. With all of the hustle and bustle of finishing up my job at UNC Chapel Hill and the move, I had skipped a run or two, which meant that my first Snug run back – and my first run at elevation since mid-January – would include eight miles.
Much to my surprise, though, it was no sweat! Without much effort at all, I was maintaining about the same pace I had been running in NC the past few months. I even picked it up a few notches the last two miles. Run done. That meant the work for the night was over. Now, on to the play. . .
I trotted down the stairs, opened the door to the basement of the Irish Snug, and saw my peeps – the regulars and some used-to-be regulars that came out just to say ‘hello’ for my first run back – at our usual spot - belly up to the bar, of course.
I was greeted with BIG hugs – the BEST part about being back – catching up, marathon training talk, social event plans, trail running plans, Pikes Peak plans. And, of course, a proper ISRC ‘welcome back’ wouldn’t be complete without at least one group car bomb:
And, in honor of my NC running buddies, I donned my Carolina Godiva Track Club tee:
There’s something about running paired with socializing on Thursday nights that just makes the end of a week that much sweeter. I am back in CO for good, but will surely find myself back in NC for a visit at some point. If it happens to be a Thursday, you can guess where I’ll be.
Wherever I am on a Thursday, all I need is a good group of friends to accompany on a run, and I’m home.
Melissa Mincic, Ph.D., 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.