Yeah, I may not go to war and fight terrorist with my running/training partners but we do suffer together and there is something to be said for that.
There are certain things in life, events and whatnot, that you can go through simultaneously, side by side together and it ends up bringing people close, it forms a glue of sorts. It can be wonderful events or tragedies. For instance people who share experiences with sick children, aging parents, marriages and divorces, and for me the wives of other men who deployed with The Hubs. Or take for instance when two people are pregnant at the same time. I really felt like I grew a lot closer to my sister when I was pregnant with LB and she was pregnant with CB at the same time. Suffering, growing a human, swollen feet and ankles, being miserable tends to bring people together.
May I also add to this list running and training forms a social cohesion among people who are working toward the same goal. I know many have blogged about training/running partners, and why not? It’s a serious topic. There are just things that happen out there on the road that are not normal by other people’s standards. It’s not always glamorous or cute, we aren’t always at our nicest. Dying, hot, miserable, sore, pushing to our limits does not always make for pleasant company. I know I have gotten snappy a time or two, and even been silent for miles. It is hard to find a running buddy that just meshes with you, that understands your running idiosyncrasies and doesn’t judge, doesn’t scoff and doesn’t care. To find someone comfortable with the silence of a run, or opens up mid way through, that someone who listens and offers advice, insight, or just nothing…the person who just gets it. Long runs are cleansing and it is almost strange what one is willing to talk about 10 miles in with 10 to go. It is a phenomena that it is suddenly ok to share your inner thoughts, fears, doubts and experiences with this person. Somehow, you share things with this person you don’t share with anyone else. The Running Partner is sacred. When you do find that person, or if you are lucky, more than one person, hold on to them. Latch on! Grab their ankles and don’t let go….Drag them with you when you move…
Running Buddies are worth their weight in gold. I have been so lucky to have a number of great running buddies and looking back on the miles spent together I smile, sometimes get teary-eyed, but usually get a pit in my stomach because I long for just another run with them (or a lot more…).
So to my Running Buddies, you know who you are, past and present, THANK YOU. You have been instrumental in getting me to where I am today, physically, mentally, and emotionally. You have supported me often without even knowing, on the road and off. You have somehow known, like a sixth sense, just when to call and when I needed to hit the road. You have pushed me when need be, nudged me when I needed it most, listened as I tried to talk but usually couldn’t because of the need for oxygen…You have stopped mid-run and hugged me (without even bothering to stop the Garmin). You have cried with me, laughed with me (and at me), and you have walked with me, chased me and pulled me (to the end of 26.2 RED). You have supported me and my goals and encouraged me beyond words. You have called me at ridiculous hours and drug me out to the road, when all I wanted was to stay in bed…But you forced me to live life and appreciate it all. You gave me insight and perspective, you gave me hope. I can only hope that I have done the same for you…
And just for old time’s sake, here are some of my favorite Running Buddy memories, this is by no means all of them, just a few:
Some of you may fancy yourselves as Lone Runners. I used to be, for the most part, a Lone Racer and a Lone Runner. I still enjoy racing my own race but there is something to be said for sharing an entire race with another person, step for step, side by side. To all my Running Buddies…..you are amazing!
Can I establish a Holiday? Because I am herby announcing that June 25th is Running Buddy Appreciation Day. Mark your calendars and celebrate the day with a good run with your Running Buddy by your side. Tell him/her what they mean to you because I guarantee you, if you didn’t have them you would miss them and getting out the door at 5:30 AM (or whenever) would be much less enjoyable.
So what do you think? Will you mark your calendars for June 25 and spread the word? Aren’t our Running Buddies worth it?