It’s no surprise that no two people can have exactly the same experience at exactly the same time….training and having pretty much your BFF be the person who you want to run and travel with be that “one” of the half that doesn’t “make the goal” that day is really summed up by:
I’ve mostly trained by myself in the past because my history is littered with running friend casualties. People who I pour my heart to, and then somehow running gets “in the way,” when it’s suppose to be what brings us together. When Katherine and I first started running more after her “time away” I of course had these thoughts….but vow each and every day we adventure to put our friendship ahead of anything else.
Mostly this is pretty easy because we couldn’t be more different in the land of running. She’s this great planner, map studier, encouraging, thoughtful, never leave me behind kind of friend. I’ve become more of the bohemian who has enough of my farm-dad, dad in me to just kind of gut things out when the going gets tough and I don’t really think about it until after. (However, trust me when I say I’m no different than anyone else in the fact that the first 3 miles pretty much are the hardest…right after I get past the ‘most hardest’ part of getting out the front door or on to the treadmill.)
This last race was just one of those days when we, despite our running togetherness, had two amazingly different days out on the same course. I think the best part about it, is that we are both strong enough women that despite that they tried to shoe me away from the finish line I waited for her to cross. I knew it wasn’t what she wanted, but I wanted a hug, and I’m a hugger, and so I hugged her. We were honest, she got some swearing in, I didn’t complain too much about the cool down, and then we went and met our friends for a delicious brunch that Katherine planned. After that, we chilled and didn’t get off the couch (or at least I barely did) the rest of the day.
The recipe for my success with my running and life friend is as follows (or generally speaking because this is in no way a mathematically correct formula!)
A big part she made everything for this race fun. Planned the parking, invited me in on her plan, and gave me warmth and a flushing toilet before the race.
A pretty big part she makes me warm up because her coach tells her to. She is a rule follower and in turn I follow too. My a$$ has been hurt for nearly a year now and the secret truth is this probably helps me more than her.
A hugest part is my life has been one crazy after another and I’d have never even ran this race had she not “got me a ticket for the train, helped me pack, and drove me to the station.”
A seriously bigger part is she gets me and loves me non-the-less.
A bigger than big part is that when she does fun things, like buy flames and wings, she never leaves me out….she could, but she doesn’t. It’s not a big thing, but I’ve been left out before and these small things make me feel more loved and appreciated than I could ever repay her for.
We had a big group of friends all making goals come to life that morning in big part to her and we were all able to celebrate together after. And really, at the end of the day…she ran a half marathon….most people just drank at the MI spring game or did nothing. A half marathon is pretty cool.
And the biggest of the mostest is she let me go.
I said it out loud with about 1 minute to go, in a joking way, to a guy we don’t really know, but my goal wasn’t her goal for the day, and I was running for reasons I prefer to keep private, but I had a lot of talking to God to do and I needed to be in my own brain, legs, lungs, and heart. On a day when I needed to run….she let me.
I don’t really care what the clock says, except I told God I needed a certain amount of his time and he gave it to me, so I had to push it in order to get it all in (I had a lot to say.)
I took my ear buds out at places to ask about Katherine from our friend Marcus who was sunshine on a seriously crappy day. He told me the truth and I put my ear buds back in and added another bullet point to discuss with God.
Ok – well anyone who knows me knows I cried while writing this….There’s probably more unsaid than said, but before it gets too sappy, I’ll stop by saying. Running Buddies are really Life Buddies and I wish every runner a Katherine!