Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Running Community


I absolutely loved running with Liz as she completed her first marathon.  Liz, thank you again for letting me be a part of the experience!

Recapping the day for the blog caused me to reflect much on how we support each other in the running community.  I never ceased to be amazed at the wonderful friends I have made through this simple sport.  Words that are hard to speak come out during those long runs.  The problems of my heart have been solved countless times.  Sometimes I wonder if it is because I do not have to speak them face to face, but rather side by side. 

IMG_0135 Leann and I before this year’s marathon.  Yes, I went spray tanning…         It makes me feel more confident!

I immediately thought of my friend Leann when I read this blog entry by Kristin Armstrong.  Leann and I met through running club and coincidently had a mutual friend.  Fate brought us together I guess!

Kristin writes in her post,

“Just like you can never really help someone run (in the literal sense -it has to come from their own body, their own strength), you can't really help someone endure in any sense of the word.  But you can run beside someone.  Sometimes your words can offer insight, levity, or community.  But most of the time the solidarity of your silence, the sound of the footfalls and the breathing, is the greatest comfort in the world - knowing that there are people alongside you in your journey. “

Leann has run me through my share of heartbreak (and a few bad falls over the years).  There is something so sturdy and reassuring knowing that she will be there for me every Sunday morning when we have to run miles and miles in the cold while everyone else sips coffee and eats pancakes.

But, don’t get me wrong.  It is not simply healing that can arise out of our running communities.  We gain confidence as we progress with the help of others.  Our calendars mark when we will meet a friend or a group, and there is a sense of importance to that meeting.  Taking care of yourself becomes a priority and is acceptable. More importantly, the running community has taught me that the world is full of goodhearted people.  Our goals may be different, but our encouragement to get to them never differs.  Times don’t matter, but seeing a friend accomplish hers means more than one’s own. I have shed some tears, but I have enjoyed myself far more than I would have ever imagined. I have learned that both friends and mere acquaintances are alongside me for my journey. We cannot run for each other but we DO run with one another.


Running students- great night tonight!  I loved seeing each and every one of you push yourself.  It was awesome to see everyone focusing of herself. 

Here is your homework- 35 minutes of running and walking.  Do it by feel.  You can use the one minute on, one minute off plan if that works for you.  Or, run till you need to walk and then run again!

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