Local Athletes Put In Their Daily Mile
Local athletes find virtual and real life running partners online.
On every top 10 list of ways to stick with a fitness program you will find, “find a partner in crime.” Running with somebody, being accountable to somebody, keeps you honest. I don’t know about you but my schedule is dictated by my job, my husband and my kids. The chances that I will be able to work my fitness schedule around another runner’s are very slim.
In this I am not alone. I have plenty of running friends who would love to have a regular running date. I have plenty of friends who could use the motivation a partner offers, but this isn’t always possible. For many local runners this desire to feel connected to a community of runners has led to Daily Mile.
I originally joined Daily Mile while looking for a place to log my training miles and times. The layout was easy and being easily amused, I love the little symbol that keeps me updated on how many donuts I have burned over the course of my logging.
But, the logging aspect to Daily Mile is not what has kept me there. I have finally found a running community. Each morning when I wake up, I check Daily Mile to see what my friends, both locally and worldwide have been up to. I comment on their workouts, complimenting some on a job well done and encouraging others who are struggling.
One of the greatest things that have come from logging my miles through an online service though is the local running friends I have made there. Margaret Messina, a fellow work-at-home mom, and I met through the site last spring and started running together whenever the opportunity arises.
We drop our kids at school, head to City Dock for a run and then have coffee together afterwards. It has become one of my favorite ways to spend a morning.
Richard Kennedy, an Annapolis resident and Washington, D.C., police officer, and I met the same way. Richard and I could not be more different and without Daily Mile to bring us together I don’t think our paths would have ever crossed.
Luckily for me, they did. Richard saw online that I was struggling with my cycling and offered to help me. Though he is much faster on the bike, when we ride together he slows down and rides along side me helping me to improve my form and gear shifting.
Caleb Kinney, an Annapolis Strider who was recently featured here for his incredible weight loss, has become a true inspiration in my life as I have watched him grow as an athlete and work to inspire the athletes around him.
Margaret agrees that while the site has a lot of great features for tracking your runs, one of the best features is being about to keep track of local runners, as well.
“A neat feature is the way you can see when other local people are running.” Margaret told me, “Not only is it motivational, but you can find new places to run and make friends with runners near you. A few times I've made new running buddies and that always makes a run more fun and exciting.”
While Margaret, Richard and I have all enjoyed getting to know new runners, Tom Bateman, a Severna Park runner I met through the site, joined it as a way to keep his team honest and on track over the winter as they all prepare for a 250-mile relay race from Gettysburg to Washington, D.C., this summer.
As a fitness writer I am ashamed to admit that I have stopped subscribing to many of the magazines I used to read so religiously. After a couple of years the advice became repetitive. On Daily Mile, runners can follow runners in their own town or across the world and they get to see what people are doing in real life situations. What their running routines are, how they deal with injury, and how the training programs they choose actually work.
When spring comes around again, I am sure many of us will make more dates to run with our local running clubs. I know we will see each other out on the trail more often than we do now. But Richard and the other athletes I have met through Daily Mile agree, it is nice having that motivation and inspiration year round.