My first running buddy

Jacksonville Gate River Run 2011

I have decided to dedicate the next few posts to my running buddies, past and present.  Each buddy that I will mention has had a significant impact on how I view running and has shaped the runner that I am today.  Valuable friendships have arisen from my running experiences and I will never forget the memories shared during runs (especially the painful ones :).  I hope to share with my readers the importance of running buddies.  I do find enjoyment out of running alone, but the most fun I’ve had running has been shared with others.

Let me take you back about 10 years.  I was in Officer Candidate School for the Coast Guard.  It was a 4-month officer training program that incorporated both physical and academic training.  I was always good at academics, but the physical part was a bit daunting to me.  Being yelled at to get up at 4:00 am to jump right out of bed and start doing push-ups wasn’t really my thing.  I was surprised though.  I always gave it my best even if I wasn’t the best (or if I caused others to be yelled at because I wasn’t able to crank out enough push-ups).  Of course, there running was involved.  A lot of running.  And you were never alone when you ran because you had to run like a herd of cattle trying to move in a straight line while being poked and prodded by the cowboys on the edge.  It was really hard for me not to trip over myself or anyone else since I am so graceful (not!).  The marching was just a joke.  I can’t even count how many times I was yelled at for not staying in unison with everyone else.  I guess I should have made it clear that I didn’t have a dancing background.

After about two months we finally had some freedom.  During our free time we could actually go for a run on base without the herd.  It was then that I found a running buddy.  This really sweet, adorable man who was way more fit than I was.  Actually, he ended up getting the “most fit” award in our class.  But, I have always thrived on challenges so when he asked me to go for a run I said “yes.”  Okay, so he must have cut his normal pace in half while I struggled to maintain steady breathing (forget trying to talk).  Yet, when he asked again, I said yes again.  I knew that he only ran with me because he had the hots for me.  That was okay with me.  I liked him too.

Needless to say, that man and I got married just a few short months later.  We are coming up on 10 years of marriage.  I guess you can say that this was a pretty important relationship that I gained through running.  He was always a better, faster runner than me… up until 2 years ago.  I really took the challenge and ran with it.  I spent countless hours planning and training… to beat him, of course.  And I did just that during the Jacksonville Gate River Run 15K.  During the last 1/2 mile I passed him.  Then, a few months later, I passed him during the second half of the 10-mile Pumpkin Run.  Yeah baby!  Sure, it might never happen a third time, but I won’t admit that it didn’t feel good, especially when I think back to the running days when we first met.  I have come a long ways since then!

My husband and I don’t get to run together very often anymore.  Since we have 3 kids and different schedules, we usually have to take turns.  However, my husband is my biggest supporter and I love him for that.  He knows how much running means to me and he will do anything in his power to help me achieve my goals.  I couldn’t ask for a better running buddy (or husband :)!

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One thought on “My first running buddy

  1. Jack says:

    10 years already. Happy Anniversary! Sounds like you healed up okay as you don’t mention the ailments any more. Did you have a little Alaskan Deja Vu when you started running in the snow? Sounds like things are going well so keep on running!

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