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<p>Seriously, I do not intend to malign the little furry critters that so often find themselves in the stew pot of intrepid pioneers.....or back woodsfolk.</p>
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<p>I do intend to praise them.</p>
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<p>The human variety.....not the furry variety.</p>
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<p>For much of my training and preparation to this date, I've run and biked solo.  The nature of swimming is such that even when you're swimming with a team, it can often be "just you" in a lane if you're lucky.  So, swimming is solo....with a bunch of friends..... too.  But lately, I've been running with a running partner.</p>
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<p>She happens to be significantly faster than I am, but is interested in extending her distance so is willing to run slower than normal so build her mileage. </p>
<p>Oh yeah....she's LOTS younger than I am too.  So, she's all....energetic and perky.  Engery and perkiness at 6:00 am isn't always well received..... until after at least the first mile. </p>
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<p>Having a running partner is helping with a frustration that I've had for years........especially about our local running group. </p>
<p>Ya see, there's a weekly group run on Saturday mornings.  The trouble is, that I'm still enough slower than the group, that it's a "group start" and then I am left on my own.  There isn't really even anyone who kinda sorta makes sure that everyone who starts, actually finishes.  I understand that most of this is because everyone is doing a slightly different distance....and people need to do their own things.  But, on some level, doesn't it seem reasonable that there would be at least a nod to making sure that everyone made it back, and no one has become a statistic on the road?  Doesn't it seem especially reasonable when the group frequently advertises "all speeds and abilities welcome"? </p>
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<p>So, I did my best over the years to start earlier than the group so that I could have a "group finish."</p>
<p>I did my best to tell people when I was planning on going shorter or longer than the group (especially in the heat, when the last water stop might get picked up before I got there).</p>
<p>But, it never felt..... fun.  And, running should be fun.</p>
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<p>Now, rabbit helps me with this.</p>
<p>She pushes me on the days when I'm supposed to push and be faster, and she runs loops around me on our long runs.  This is only fair, as when we cycle, I ride loops around her to keep her within shouting distance.  When we run fast enough that I can't talk...she fills in the gaps.  When I can talk, I do.  And....when I'm tired, there's an actual voice reminding me to STOP SHUFFLING!  Ms. Rabbit doesn't just help me, either.  She's also toying with the idea of doing a triathlon.  We have one chosen, we just have to make sure that both of our schedules will allow it.  I may not be in "race" shape for it, but I'll be able to get it finished.  And, including her in biking allows me to start giving back to the sport a bit. </p>
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<p>Rabbits are definitely good for more than just a yummy dinner next to a campfire.</p>
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