I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends…
When Noel departed Boston putting a successful 2010 Boston Marathon in the books, something donned on me. The running community in Boston and beyond is awesome, and I think everyone out there needs to know that. So, for this post I’ve decided to do a little shout out to my running buddies. Thank you for inspiring me to train, compete and finish races, even when I’m feeling at my worst. Without you guys, I never would have signed up for a marathon, let alone THREE (with many more to come)
Thank You to my Favorite Running Buddies, you guys are the best:
I first met Kate in the kitchenette at work waiting in line for the spring water filter. Naturally, we had gigantic nalgene bottles, so we usually had a few minutes to kill while they filled with water. We started with small talk, and then instantly found out that we both LOVED to work out, particularly running. We are lucky enough that our office supplies showers and towels, so we started venturing out on lunch time runs together.
Kate is a very powerful runner with great form and stride, she always pushes me to run faster and make me a better runner. As good of a runner she is, she’s also the most humble person I know, she is constantly always telling me how much better I am than x,y,z than her (which is completely untrue!) Aside from physically pushing me to become a better runner, Kate is also a great listener. Part of why I love distance running is the camaraderie between training partners, and Kate is no exception. My favorite example of her unwaivering friendship and team work is in the Marine Corps Marathon in October 2009. I was struggling big time near a hill at mile 8, and I decided that I should try to run off and walk in order to get Kate to stay on the pace she needed to break four hours. Everything was going to plan when she RAN BACK to find me. After screaming at her and telling her to move on, I finally gave up and ran with her for a bit. When it was clear that I wasn’t going to make a recovery I forced her to move ahead and carry on without me. I will never forget her act of selflessness!
On top of this, she listens to all of my good and bad news and always has a supportive or encouraging comment to back it up. Whenever I return from a run with her I feel challenged and pushed, but also refreshed to know that I have such a good friend, on and off the pavement.
My first memory of meeting Michele was over New Years Eve, and we instantly bonded over our love of running. I was impressed that she had run two marathons, and she firmly planted a bug in my ear to try to get into the NYC marathon the following year. Any normal person listening to her stories of training and racing would run for the hills, but not me! As a fellow glutton for punishment, I successfully secured a number in the 2008 NYC marathon running for one of my favorite charities, the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Over the next few months leading up to the November 2nd race, Michele and I traded emails and thoughts regarding training, gear and race preparation. Even from a distance, she was able to prepare me for the trials and tribulations of the marathon, and reassure me that she would be there right along side me.
Just 10 months later, both of us found ourselves ready to embark on the New York Marathon, holy crap! Michele let my boyfriend and I stay with her, and they instantly made us feel at home by hosting a pre race pasta dinner. Her mother drove us to the start of NYC in Staten Island, which sure beats a crowded marathon school bus shuttle from the New York Public Library. I enjoyed Michele’s company while waiting for the race to begin, and her words of marathon wisdom for this newbie. At 11am we were finally off! The race was great, there was an amazing crowd, fantastic water/Gatorade stops and challenging bridges to climb. Fast forward to mile 22, and I lost Michele, I’m not 100% sure what happened, I think the crowds were thick before central park and I suddenly had a burst of energy, but I looked back and she was nowhere to be seen. I finished with a time of 4:16 and Michele finished shortly thereafter. Afterwards we were both exhausted, but instantly started plotting our next marathon. Thank you Michele for encouraging me to embark on this new frontier!
Liz is another running buddy from my office, and she’s great! I met Liz two years ago, but finally started running together just a year ago. She was training for the 2009 NYC marathon, and I was training for the Marine Corps Marathon, so it was a perfect training match. I love running with Liz because of her enthusiasm and dedication to the sport. She’s always looking for ways to push herself to the next level, and unfortunately this same ambition is to blame for her achilles tendonitis which eventually kept her running NYC. Yet, even an injury wasn’t enough to sideline her! This coming Sunday she will set out to complete her first official full, the Providence Marathon. I am so proud of Liz for not only overcoming an injury, but having the strength and resilience to stick with running in order to fulfill her goal: kicking butt and taking names over 26.2 miles. Liz, good luck to you and kick butt! You’ve put in the work, now just let your body do what it knows best, RUN!
I have written multiple posts over Noel’s running, so I will keep this short! Noel and I met in college on the swim team, and once we both graduated we turned to running. Though she lives in Florida and I live in Boston, we are able to share our running experiences, times, and enthusiasm over email. I loved tracking her Boston Marathon training and knowing that one of my closest friends would be running the country’s longest running, and most prestigious marathon. Her love of running has helped motivate and inspire me through ruts in my own training, and her experience has helped me figure out my own marathon training plan. Though Noel is MUCH faster than I am, this fall we will both run the Chicago marathon together. We might not be running the marathon alongside each other, but I’m looking forward to her positive influence and motivation over the race weekend. After losing her grandfather to cancer recently, Noel made the decision to run Chicago for the American Cancer Society, be sure to check her fundraising page!
Lastly, but certainly not least is my boyfriend, and favorite running partner, Rob (or more popularly referred to as “Foxy”.) Prior to dating, Foxy and I met and became close friends through our mutual friend Greg and were instantly very close. His fun, easy going attitude and great friendship eventually lead to dating after a year and a half of friendship and after over two years we’re still going strong. When I was training for my first marathon (NYC 2008) he was there for me through thick and thin, which he admitted, took a toll on him as a supporter. Since he knows how important running and fitness is to my life, he has taken to running a few shorter distances with me, and eventually even embarked on running several 5k’s. When he first set out on the pavement he struggled through 1-2 mile runs, and now runs a 3.5 mile loop with ease! He is also looking to increase the challenge by perhaps running a 4 or 5 mile race. I’m so lucky for his participation in the sport, because I love going on runs together and our comitment to a healthy lifestyle. He firmly states that he will never run a marathon, but he has found the value and rewards of running for himself, all the while still supporting me and my quest for the finish line in endurance races. Thank you for everything Foxy! 🙂