Tuesday, July 29, 2014

In praise of my running friends!

Feel the need to give tribute to my wonderful running sisters, half of whom I have not ever met face to face!  First and foremost, I have to mention Kelly.  Kelly was the person who introduced me to this madness called running.  It was back in the 70's, she was a runner, I was not.   I was an aerobic dancer at the time, taking classes at a Health Spa, said Spa went bankrupt.  Kelly had been trying to get me into running, so I thought "what the heck".  I had no running shoes, no nothing, so I pulled on my reeboks and tried this running thing.  It was awful!  I couldn't even make it around the darn block.  Kelly kept me going, telling me that's ok, that is how everyone starts.  I only worked until noon those days, I had 2 small children, so every day , after work, I would lace up those reeboks and try to run.  Sure enough, little by little I was able to go further and further.  The first time that I thought I went about a mile without stopping I called Kelly at work, I was so excited.  Mind you, I had no watch or anything, just was guesstimating how far I had gone.  So...that was it, I was hooked.  Kelly talked me into the St. Patricks Day 10K run in Kansas City a few months later, she kept telling me "if you can run 3 miles, you can run 6!"  Yeah, right!  But you know what?  I did!  Ran that 10K in 1 hour flat...10 minute miles.  I owe all this to Kelly!  We have since lost touch, but I did track her down , 30 years later, after I ran my one and only marathon (so far).  I had to let her know what she had done to me!  Kelly isn't running anymore, due to knee issues, which is too bad.

Jumping ahead, quite a few years, another Friend of mine, Cathy, has a daughter who runs.  Cathy invited me to go to Florida to run with her daughter in a 15K race at Disney.  The furthest I had ever run is that 10K, I mean that wasn't the last time I ran 6 miles, but 6 or 7 miles was my limit, I never pushed myself to go any further.  But who passes up a trip to Disney?  Not me!  So............posted on a blog at the Runners World website, women runners over 40.  Posting the question," Can I run a 15K in a few weeks, if the furthest I have ever run is 7 miles?"  The resounding response was " of course you can!"  And , of course, I did!  In the years since, these ladies from this forum, have encouraged me to push myself even more...first the half marathon and then the marathon.  We have been together through, death of parents, spouses, and numerous more joyous occasions and the thread that binds us and keeps us sane is this crazy thing called running.  We are there  for one another.  Some of these wonderful ladies I have not even met, but it doesn't matter, we have formed a bond now that , I don't believe, will be broken....you know who you are ladies, let's keep on running!  My non-running friends also, encourage me make me accountable!  When I say I have registered for a Half Marathon, you better believe I am going to run it, barring any disaster .  I have even inspired a couple of them to become runners themselves, which is all the better.   I don't know where I would be without all those wonderful people!  Thank you!


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