Watching the video from my last posting makes me laugh – HARD. The guy in the video saying that Bridget didn’t look happy was Tim Knowlton – East Coast Sales Director for Saucony. Tim is the guy who we were six minutes late meeting – the guy who asked if we could read directions!?! Little did we know that being six minutes late would foreshadow the rest of the event. (Bridget had not gotten lost – she had actually taken the page out of our ‘bible’ that had her race directions on it)
Back when I was in college if you had ever told me that one day I would not be overweight, that I could run over 14 miles and have 13 of them in the 6 minute range, that I would enjoy running a relay race and not showering for two days rather than getting gussied up and going to a bar to drink, I would have told you were insane. So it’s crazy to me that I am sitting her typing away feeling like I had the best weekend in a very long time simply because I ran and was around runners.
For 24+ hours it was just me. I wasn’t someones mom, I wasn’t someones sister, I wasn’t someones daughter, I wasn’t someones wife. I was just me. I could go to the bathroom alone and not have two mini sets of eyes on me. I could go to Starbucks and get away with not having to buy the organic chocolate milk that is eye level for those under 3 feet. I didn’t have to change any diapers or worry about nap times. Don’t get me wrong – I love my life as a stay at home mom – next to a job in the running industry this is the best job. But more often than not it’s completely and utterly exhausting. Running is my outlet.
When I think about all the favorite people in my life most of them I met through or because of running……
I met my husband while running on the treadmill at the gym. I wasn’t one of those girls who went to the gym to chat or check people out. I went because I want to get a workout in and I don’t want some guy talking to me taking time away from working out. I was a skeptical when my husband came up to me and asked me about running. I gave him some advice and chalked it up to him hitting on me and truly not caring about running. Much to my surprise he found me a week or two later and said he had checked out all the websites I told him to look at and that he really wanted to run a race. Maybe this guy really was just interested in running? Anyways to make a very long story short we ended up getting married and now have two beautiful children. The second we named Miles Lincoln – after the many miles we ran together getting to know each other and for the Lincoln Memorial where we had one of our first dates and where he proposed. (We even one a contest for most unique baby name story!)
The next person that comes to mind is my best friend Claire – my running sister. We met when we were both in college and worked together at Footsteps of Reston. Later we were roommates and worked for Brooks and Mizuno as tech reps. I moved on to Moving Comfort and she switched to Brooks. Then later as I became a stay at home mom she moved on to New Balance.(where she continues to kick butt and help make awesome shoes) Throughout the years we have become better and better friends and I truly love her as if she were my sister. I would feel lost without her.
The people that I have met have been some of the most real, honest, loving, caring, great people I have ever had the privilege of knowing.
I could go on and on with stories of the people and friendships I have made because of running however I’ll get to my point which is that running is not just a sport for me – it’s not just a way for me to burn some calories – it’s a way of life – it’s my life. If I never started running my life would be completely and utterly different and I knew that the moment I crossed the line at Marine Corps Marathon 2003. I can pinpoint that moment as knowing that I would forever be different in some way. I know this is why I love it so much when people tell me they are running their first marathon – I want them to feel what I felt – I want them to be changed.
This weekend somewhere up in the mountains of Maryland or possibly the cornfields of Virginia I remembered why I run. How much happier I am because I found running and running found me.