It is my intention throughout the next twelve months to put up a new post every Saturday. Each month will have a slightly different theme, the first being running partners.
The first running partner of mine I want to highlight is a close friend, Dan. We spent four years together in college and have remained close friends since. One of the things I greatly appreciate about running with him; he is a more talented runner than I am. Twice he has run a qualifying time for Boston. He has better endurance, better race strategy and better times than I do. Running with him pushes me to be a better runner. As we were both training for fall marathons in 2013, we worked our schedules to meet every Thursday for what we called ‘hills Thursday.’ It is exactly what it sounds like… a day dedicated to running hills. We would take off and go anywhere between 9-11 miles of pretty consistent hills. It was brutal. It was tough. It was amazing. With each Thursday I could feel my legs getting stronger, and on my weekend long run I could tell my legs were getting stronger as the miles piled on top of each other. It wasn’t uncommon for both of us to hit a bit of a wall around the 45 minute mark. Each time one would look at the other and say, “do we keep going?” Had I been running by myself the answer most likely would have been a simple and easy “no.” With a close friend pushing and encouraging me, as much as my body wanted to stop, I didn’t.
Another incredible aspect of this running partner is the sharing of life. For the past six months I have been blessed to listen to Dan as he processed through the reality of becoming a father for the first time. It brought me great joy to be able to ask questions and hear the thoughts running through his mind and heart. Two days ago Dan and his wife welcomed their daughter into the world. I’m pretty sure she is going to be a talented runner.