We’re all looking for our own, real-life version of Cheers—the place where everybody (or at least *somebody*) knows your name.
On Saturday morning, I realized I’ve already found that in Saratoga Springs in my new running group. I’ve already done two Wednesday-night speed workouts (ugh) and a Monday-night trail 5K (ouch) with the group, and when I showed up Saturday morning, multiple people greeted me by name, with smiles suggesting they were glad to see me. Is there any better feeling than that when you’re new in town?
The organizer told me that people run a variety of distances and paces on a variety of routes through Saratoga Spa State Park. She said people start together and shake out into different pace groups as they go. I quickly fell in with a guy named Rich and a gal named Margaret, who led me through six or seven gorgeous miles through the park’s signature pine-fringed streets. We chatted the whole time, and I was having so much fun, I was genuinely surprised when we were done (How often do you get to the end of seven miles and say: “Wait, already?”).
The group sets up a table with coffee and donuts for a post-run get-together. The 20 minutes or so I spent chatting over coffee with a bunch of new runner-friends will go down as one of my all-time favorite experiences in my new hometown. I ended up talking to a fellow named Hank, who is apparently also from Silver Spring, and who told me that he, too, joined the group to make friends when he was new in town. He said that now, it feels like a family.
“Nice talking to you, Amy,” he said as we parted ways. Aw. He knew my name, too!
In other news: Congrats to everyone who finished Ironman Lake Placid last weekend (I’m looking at you, Katie)! A bunch of people from the triathlon club that organizes my Thursday-night swims also competed, and were written up in the local paper, The Saratogian, ahead of the event last week. Check out the top right photo that accompanies the story, and see if you can spot your favorite swimmer. Hint: She’s wearing a two-piece in a sea of tri shorts; is wearing a neon-green bathing cap; and is standing in a pose I like to call “woman who does not know she’s being photographed in a bikini.” Gah!