How are we helping each other on this Akron Marathon Race Series adventure?

Let me count the ways...

1) So there I was Tuesday morning, jogging alongside an Amish buggy in Holmes County and exchanging waves with a bonneted woman eating an apple. This delightful moment  I owe to our fellow BLBer Tracey Hlucky.

If you'll recall from a previous blog post, Tracey talked about keeping up her running routine on business trips and how it gives her a rare view of a city. Well earlier this week, my siblings and I went to Berlin to sleep in a treehouse for a couple of nights. Having lived in this area all my life, I've made more trips to Amish Country than I can count. I expected the treehouse to be the only new experience for me here. But Tuesday was a beautiful and sunny day so - inspired by Tracey - I laced up, found the local Holmes County Trail a few miles away in Millersburg, and started to run.

I passed several runners and bicyclists that first mile while logging my best pace time ever.  That would have been enough to make the workout  memorable. I saw some horse droppings along the wide and flat crushed-gravel route, and wondered if this mutli purpose trail was a bridle path as well. But then in the distance, I saw it coming toward me. An Amish buggy. They use this trail, too. We passed each other, maybe four feet apart. I lifted a hand to wave, and the woman inside smiled and returned the greeting. Okay, I thought. That's never going to happen to me again.

2) So my shoes have a funky lacing style on them now, but the tops of my feet are no longer bruised after a run. This I owe to our fellow BLBer Jim Mitchell.

If you'll recall from a previous blog post, Jim shared with us a website he found that showed different lacing techniques aimed at specific foot issues. Well, as we added that third mile to our training program a couple of weeks ago, I couldn't understand why the top of my feet were sore. After all, I wasn't running on the top of my feet!

Then I remembered the shoe salesman telling me I had high arches. And that made me remember that one of the lacing techniques in Jim's link was for high arches. So I relaced my shoes and guess what? No more bruised foot tops.

3) After I asked all of you last week to report on your progress, Kris Kienzl wrote about how she was once skeptical she'd be able to keep up with her training and "go the distance." Now she's running 5 miles on Saturdays, and this she owes, in part, to fellow BLBer Carolyn Politano.

If you'll recall from a previous blog post, Carolyn wrote in detail about the first time ever she ran a trail instead of walked it. "The most motivating thing for me was when Carolyn Politano told us about how she’s always had dreams in which she’s running, so she knows she will run," Kris wrote. "Little moments like that have given me confidence in myself and the ‘can do’ attitude I needed."

There is an old Buddhist proverb that goes: When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Clearly as Blue Line Beginners, we are all students. But being students has also opened us to learning from each other - and that makes us teachers as well.

- Paula