Lewiston-Auburn has a magical fitness aura about it, I swear

This is yet another week-late race recap.

Last Monday on Labor Day I did the Bangor Labor Day 5-miler. It was at the end of a weekend with a lot of fun and socializing and friends, as holiday weekends should be. The weekend started with the Kesha concert in Bangor on Friday night.

Dressing up for Ke$ha was more fun than prom night.

And then I went camping with some friends in Bar Harbor on Saturday.

Hanging out on Bar Island with my friends Tom and Elizabeth.

I heard about this race thought a small running group I’ve been participating in.

The course went right by my employer and was literally a stones’ throw from my house. I lived pretty close to a handful of race starts when we lived near downtown Lewiston, I have never lived as close to a race as this.

But my heart hasn’t been in racing lately and it really hasn’t even been in running lately, which is why my blogging has slowed down to a trickle. It was an effort to get up that Monday morning for a 9 a.m. start less than a half-mile from my front door. I’ve walked further from parking lots to bib pick-ups before. I am a 4-time marathoner!

I showed up. I only caught one other member of our running group there. Tony had to work that morning, so it was just me. I dropped my $20 and ran 5 miles in the rain in 42 minutes and 22 seconds.

It’s a personal record, but I take it with a grain of salt. The last time I ran a 5-miler it was at 10:30 a.m. in July while training for an endurance event. This time it was a cool misty morning in September when I was fresh as a daisy, only having run ~15 miles per week for the past month. It doesn’t feel earned.

After the race … I didn’t know anyone, and I didn’t have anyone keeping me company there, so without much words to others, I walked home in the rain and finished the rest of my day.

This isn’t supposed to be an “oh sad me” post. I’m just reflecting on how life has changed.

This weekend was the Lake Auburn Half-Marathon, a race and a course that is near and dear to my heart and organized by people whom I miss and respect very much. What I loved about that race last year was how much it felt like a huge social event.

The crowd at the Lake Auburn half on Sunday. I know a lot of those faces. 🙂

I wanted to go and run it but between friends and family visiting this weekend it didn’t happen.

And also, not that it really gave me as much pause as it should have, but I haven’t run more than 8 miles at a time in more than a month.

I miss my friends in Lewiston a lot and — I knew this would happen — despite the fact I feel like we’re going down to Southern Maine constantly I have not really seen many of my running friends since I left town.

Like these guys. 🙂

I knew it would happen because the same thing happened when I moved from Bangor. We went back to Bangor often enough to visit family but there wasn’t a lot of time for much else.

I joke that Lewiston-Auburn has a special fitness aura about it. At least for me. It was there that I gained a lot of friendships and habits that made running one of the greatest joys in my life. I wrote a lot about how easy losing weight felt back then. And it did feel easy, because it was not just something I really wanted, but because every force in my life seemed to be helping me along the way.

Bangor is different, but it’s not Bangor, it’s my life here. And I am so happy here for so many reasons. But I find myself back at a place where I was before I started running, which is that the demands of life are shifting my focus from my physical health, and I don’t have the influencers in place that made that focus so easy.

I have high hopes for this group, though.

My friend Ben Sprague has been organizing a small running group that’s been meeting on Friday mornings (and some Thursday evenings) by Geaghan’s in Bangor. This group is a more focused on the staying social & healthy together aspect of running then I feel like my Lewiston/Auburn & Brunswick groups were focused on the athleticism.

And that’s just what I need. (By the way, everyone is welcome, regardless of ability. If you want more details, contact me and I’ll fill you in.)


Pattie Reaves

About Pattie Reaves

I'm a new mom and renegade fitness blogger at After the Couch. I live in Brewer with my husband, Tony, our daughter Felicity, and our two pugs, Georgia and Scoop.