I miss Bertha – a bunch. It’s almost time for another long run this weekend. Last year while training for my first marathon, it was soo comforting to know that she’d always be there right by my side for those training runs. Bertha’s taken a little time back from running this summer while she saw her podiatrist and dealt with that foot problem and got new orthodics. I am glad she saw to that foot problem and know it was the right thing to do — but — I MISS HER SO MUCH on the runs!!!!!!

Last week, the group run was really fun. It perked me up to have such a huge group to be with. This weekend is another story. These things seem to be very random and it’s hard to know when you’ll hit the jackpot and find a ton of runners wanting to do the same thing that you need to do – or when you’ll come up empty-handed or nearly empty-handed.

Here’s my problem this weekend that has me kind of stressed out.  I need to run 20 miles. Flat. No mountain running this time. We have a nice greenbelt in Boise that’s perfect for this sort of thing. Bertha and I ran it a ton last summer and fall. Well…. the majority of my running pals are ultra runners. Most of them really dislike any road running and prefer to do nearly all their running in the hills. I enjoy the hills, but am actively training for a fall marathon, which means I need to do some of both: the hills are good for strength – but I also need to find my pace and feel comfortable for long distances on the asphalt (flat.)

I poked around and asked about 50 runners this weekend if they’d like to join me. At first, it looked like I might have a group of 4 – a really sweet, fun, fast lady in her 50’s named Francie (who has the body of a 25 year old I swear and the spunky attitude to match), a training pal named Randy who’s also in his 50’s and treats me like a daughter, which is nice and a new training friend named Otto, who is my age and is really nice and the same pace that I am. I was excited about this group and knew it would be fun.

Well,.. Randy has decided to run some hills this week instead, so he canceled. Francie is having problems with her knee and it looks like she’s not going to make it either. That leaves me and Otto. He and I ended up running together a bit last weekend and ran 8 miles of my 18 miler together a couple weeks before that. He’s a great runner and the conversation was fun. BUT… I feel really WEIRD running with a guy! He has never been flirtatious with me and I would never be flirtatious with him — we just run — but can you understand why this seems kind of odd for me? We’re both happily married, we chatted about our kids, etc. If he were a girl, I wouldnt’ think a darn thing about it — but he’s a dude.

I’m feeling kind of discouraged right now. I still need to run 20 this weekend. I don’t want to do it alone. Wayne said it’s fine if I run with him by myself — but I really, really wish I could find another person to come along. What would you guys do?

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