SWF Searching for Long Term Running Partner. Can’t Be Afraid to Get a Little Dirty. – November Blogging Challenge #8
When I first started running, it was on the high school track team. I wasn’t really a runner. I just wanted to get in shape for the summer soccer season. I could run and was okay at it, but I’d much rather be goofing off with my teammates on the soccer field. So I joined the track team. Low and behold, I started to love running. I loved running with the team. We gossiped and chatted about boys. We would belt out songs while running down the road and play silly games. In the off-season, I could run on my own, but it was the group that kept me motivated to keep running.
High school ended, and I went off to college. I was double majoring in two of the most time consuming majors I could find, working in the training room to get my hours to sit for the certification exam, and not playing sports. I was going crazy. I needed that outlet to stay sane. So I kept on running daily and going to the gym three or four times a week. This was my time. Those 6-7 mile runs out in the woods near campus were therapeutic. I’d pop on my headphones and spend the next hour running through the bones of the hand or the steps of fetal development for amphibians. It was probably better I ran alone, or the poor soul who decided to join me would have been bored to tears.
Fast forward to training for my first marathon. I had a toddler at home and a marriage that was falling apart. Because of my ex husband’s work situation, I was picking up as many hours as I could at work to make ends meet. I needed to escape. There would be days I would grab my shoes and run out the door the second an opportunity presented itself because I just needed to get out and let off steam. I would run as hard or as long as my legs would let me. There were tears. My ex blames running as one of the reasons our marriage ended. I think the opposite is true. If it weren’t for running and having that outlet, I probably wouldn’t have tried those last few years to work it out. While I was going through the divorce, it was my time again to think things through. How was I going to support my daughter and me on just one irregular income? How would I balance work and parenting duties without needing to put my daughter in daycare? When was I going to find time to train for another marathon? It was on my runs that I found the answers to these questions. I would start looking into personal training jobs again since I’d be able to work that around my already crazy schedule. I’d apply to gyms that were family friendly so I could take my daughter with me. I would look into other certifications like becoming a running coach to increase my marketability. I would run through possible interview questions in my head and mull over ways to improve my resume. Those runs alone were when I was most productive.
It’s been almost a year now since my ex and I decided to separate. That running brainstorming helped me land a job I love. That girl that just wants to goof off with her friends is back. I rarely run alone these days. Early morning trail runs on the weekends with people I have met as part of the Upper Midwest Trail Runners. Taking runners out as a coach and meeting co-workers for a quick evening run. If no one will run with me, then it’s the dog. She’s not much for conversation, but she’s usually good for a laugh or two. Even with racing, my focus has shifted from running fast to having fun. I never would have made it all 26.2 miles at the KC Marathon if Ammanda and her friends hadn’t been there to push me. I would have probably said “f*** this!” at Women Rock if I hadn’t found Moe. If it wasn’t for running, I wouldn’t have either of those ladies in my life as friends and wouldn’t have many of the other people that are now a part of my life. It’s these new friends that have really helped me forge a new path and become settled into this next chapter in my life. And running is what we share. I’m no longer a loner. I’m finding my place in the running community, and I love it!!