runTraining with a partner really does make a difference.  There are only 25 days until the Broad Street Run, and my Broad Street buddy Jen (a.k.a. Ski) and I are deep in our final weeks of prep before the big race. Each Saturday, we've met up to go on long runs together down Kelly Drive, and these longs runs have become my favorite training days.  Long runs can be relaxing, but they can also be a little lonely.  Ski and I chat our way through our runs for as long as we can manage (we're almost always silent near the end), and the time flies by.  To reward ourselves our hard work, Ski spots me $1.00 and we enjoy bottles of room temperature water from a guy selling it out of his van (you thought I was going to say that we go out for a huge breakfast, didn't you?  Nope, we're pretty lame.  But twice Ski has cut up some oranges when we returned to her house).

Last weekend, Ski was out of town, and I wasn't looking forward to running alone.  I even delayed my run from Saturday to Sunday, and on Saturday night, I was in serious danger of skipping it altogether.  Then, I encountered fate in the tiny form of Trang Le.  Trang is also training for the BSR, and her running buddy was out of town as well.  We met up at Kelly Drive the next morning and had a great run.  When we reached the water guy in his van, I bought a bottle and poured it out on the sidewalk in honor of Ski.

I must pay homage to my original workout buddy Little B (f.k.a. Becky Miller).  I credit Little B with converting me into a gym rat in college and for helping me realize freshman year that my jeans no longer fitting may have had something to do with my tri-weekly meals of Stouffer's mac and cheese, a liter of regular Pepsi and a few packs of M&Ms.  Once I got my ass in gear, Little B + Gina + the gym were inseparable.  Sadly, Little B and I settled in cities 500 miles apart after graduation, but we make it a point to workout together whenever we visit one another.  During these too infrequent workouts, we almost always recount our wonderfully long college gym sessions with nostalgia.

Over the years, I've grown accustomed to solo workouts combined with group classes, and I didn't give a second thought to having a partner.  But Ski, Trang and my most handsome workout companion Joe have shown me that training with a friend is not only motivating and refreshing, it's just more fun.

If you ever find yourself in a workout rut, think about finding a buddy.  If you live anywhere near Perrysburg, Ohio, I can give you Little B's number.