I'm sure everyone has their secret to success. These little gems are usually personal and came about as a result of some deep introspection, or conversely, as the result of having 'the perfect day'. Some might be actual practices while others might be odd superstitions. In either case, they work and are thereafter unchanging. After talking with many people about their secrets or reading about them in articles and blogs one thing is clear, they are as wide-ranging and random as the stars.
For one of my friends it is wearing his favorite green shorts in a race. Another eats only gels, while another won't eat gels, at all. My mom has to have a Pepsi Throwback during a long run or race. My brother wears those weird balance bracelets, something the makers have even admitted don't really work. But for Brent they do, so he wears his. Mr Crockett swears by bacon, something I tend to agree with. Matt won't run without bringing along salt pills, and the other Matt won't run without bringing wet wipes. It doesn't matter what these secrets are as long as they work.
My secret would seem a little less personal, but ultimately maybe even more necessary. The secret to my success is my friends. I'm not a superstitious person, I don't need special socks or a tried and true hat. My nutrition can vary and while I tend to drink just water on my runs, I do appreciate a good soda later in a race. Nope, my secret to being so successful (which is a very relative term) simply boils down to the company I keep.
I don't need my friends with me on every run or in every race, I actually enjoy the solitude of running alone. I generally don't user pacers in a race less than 100 miles long, but if the opportunity is there to give one of them a chance to join in I will usually invite them along because it's just more fun. This little secret of mine wouldn't really work if my friends sucked; not in the sense of being poor runners, but poor people. Luckily, like Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, "I've chosen wisely". The deep center of why I love running so far and in such remote places is because I just love the people who are there with me. I couldn't ask for a better family or group of friends. We don't all run and compete at the same level. We often get out on long runs and spread out over miles without seeing or talking to each other for up to a couple of hours. And it doesn't matter. Ultimately, we love being there for the sake of our surroundings. We visit and laugh during the trip to wherever we are going and generally stay together for the first bunch of miles, even if it doesn't last for the entire run. I love my running crew and I wouldn't change it. However, if you want to join our little brigade, just let me know. We are always willing to add more to the bunch. Just don't be offended with how we act or our attitudes towards running. We just want to have fun and run far.
Here are some photos with some of my friends doing what we love best.
Yep, I've got it good!!!!