Start Me Up!

Friends and fellow runners (and friends who are fellow runners) sometimes ask me whether I run with a group, or by myself.

While I do enjoy the company of other runners, the truth is that most of the time, my run is time for me: time to shake off a stressful day, mull over a tough problem, or just cut loose and enjoy the sound of my own footfalls in solitude.

Every now and then, though, I run with these two British guys.

They're more than twice my age, so you'd think they'd slow me down -- but I'm telling you: I have the most amazing runs when Mick and Keith are along.

Once, I left the house intending to do an easy 15-miler, telling Christi where I was headed and what time to expect me home. The run began as I'd planned, but then Mick and Keith kept pushing me onward. A propulsive rhythm seeped into my stride, and everything felt smooth, easy and effortless. Without even realizing it, I ran three miles beyond my intended turnaround point.

I had to call Christi from the trail to let her know I'd be home an hour late. But how to explain?

"It was Mick and Keith," I said. "They just kept pushing me along, and before I knew it I'd gone a lot farther than I meant to."

So some day, out on the trail, if you find yourself crossing paths with a grinning trail runner humming along with Mick and Keith, it's me. Wave, say hello, introduce yourself. I may seem a little crazy, but I'm just having fun.

Hey, I know it's only rock'n'roll -- but I like it.

See you on the trail!