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Do you have a Running BFF?

I met a new friend during the Carmel Half Marathon this year.

Pre Fire Cracker 6


When I race, I almost always say something to other females who I pass or who pass me. (unless I’m dying in the last bit of a race and can’t find the energy!) I know they are working hard. Maybe they feel powerful at the moment or maybe they are struggling. Not to be all “woman power” about it, but I feel a camaraderie with the ladies running around me. If I remind myself that I’m in my race and they are in theirs and that’s what matters, why not cheer each other on. Why not be the encourager? It’s helped me when others have said just the right thing to push me (male or female… although it’s usually a male) Girls don’t want you to pass them. Of course I don’t want to be passed by girls either, but when it happens… good job girl. Get it done.

Around mile 7 of the Carmel Half, Ashley creeped up on me. I was slowing down majorly after having gone out way too fast. I gave her a cheer and she offered to have her husband, who was riding his bike next to her hold my hat and gloves that I was carrying. I stuck it out with her for a couple of miles but had to let her go. Having her there definitely kept me from slowing down even more than I was heading toward during those couple of miles.

She finished almost a whole minute ahead of me. Her and her husband were waiting for me at the finish line with my hat and gloves though. We chatted for a few minutes and exchanged numbers and said we might try to run together. It was one of those short conversations, that I knew it might stick and we might actually end up running together. In the short conversation- I learned she and her husband live in Carmel and are both Air Force pilots. She’s ran a 3:21 marathon, she likes to ride bikes and is easy to talk to.

We’ve been running together once a week for a couple months now. AND I LOVE IT. With her job, (oh, you know, NBD, just being a badass Air Force pilot) she has random week days off when the rest of the world is at work. Perfect for my schedule. We usually run while Marshall naps in the stroller. She even pushed the stroller for a little bit during our last stroller run. I think I’ll make her do it more. We ran a 4th of July race (Fire Cracker 6) together and are talking about doing the Indy Women’s half together. We both have a goal to break 1:30, so I think it will be awesome to run together as much as we can. I know that whether we finish together or separate, we’ll both finish wondering how the other one did. Not ONLY concerned with our own time. I really like that.

This is what I love about our relationship. We aren’t competing with each other. We can definitely both throw down but would be equally happy for the other if they had a better race or good day even if we didn’t have a good day of our own. She’s not conceited, doesn’t feel entitled and works for her fast times. She knows how to work hard, when it hurts. She’s willing to push you but also no afraid to whine and tell you she feels weak sometimes. She wants to work hard and run fast times, but she’s not obsessive. She’d rather go to a concert and get a little tipsy and enjoy 3 cupcakes than be anal and perfectly fit and not enjoy indulging sometimes. My kind of girl.

I’ve been looking for a friend like this for a long time. I don’t mind running a slower or faster pace than scheduled sometimes or just in general, but it sure is nice to find a fun, kind girlfriend to run with, who just happens to be my pace.

I’ve never really been one to do my long runs with a friend. On Saturday, we ran 10- it’s what was on her schedule and I’m coming off two weeks of recovery but wanted to finish the week off with a longish run. My legs were absolutely dead because I did squats for the first time in months Friday. You know what it feels like if you haven’t used those muscles like that in months? You could do 10 reps and it would hurt. Yeah I’m still sore on Monday. What I do know is, those 10 miles would have felt a lot harder and I probably would have ran them a lot slower if I’d ran them alone.

I’m really thankful to have found my new friend. She’s got a lot of potential. That 3:21 marathon I mentioned? It was only her second marathon. I’d say she’s got some speed in her. I’m excited to work hard together, to have good runs and not so good runs. To share happy moments crossing the finish line, while I know they’ll be not so good moments during workouts that don’t go as well as expected. She is someone who understands and can share these moments with me.

Post Fire Cracker 6

Have you ever picked up a new running friend at a race? 

A group of friends? I like the group idea too but feel like it would be more difficult to come up with more people running the same pace? 
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