Thankful Thursdays – The Anatomy of a Running Buddy

Full disclosure … I was not in a good place yesterday morning.  I had had a sleepless night with the twins, was overwhelmed with to do’s and had enough other random worries that when I left my house at 7am to meet RB for a run I was already choked up.  By the time I saw RB I was a complete wreck.  (sidetone: running, crying, and talking not an easy combo … also not pretty)

It took her less than 1 mile to get me calm and carrying on.  I’m a lucky lady to have this person in my life.

RB HUGS ... after the Sleepy Hollow Half Marathon 2011

Today I am especially thankful for my RB and the sanity that she helped me relocate!  

This got me thinking, What is the anatomy of a truly great Running Buddy?  Here’s my short list …

entertainer – capturing your attention through amusement or diversion

motivator – influencing the positivity of your run

moderator – tuning into every detail of your life and giving advice/calm reasoning whenever needed

commiserator – sympathizing with the difficulties of running and of life

pacer – keeping in stride.  Whether you are having the fastest run of your life or the slowest.

There are many forms of companionship that can ease the monotony of running.  However a truly great running buddy is a special thing.

I will go out on a limb and say that a truly great running buddy is a much harder thing to find than a truly great friend.  Why?  Because not only do you need to find all the qualities of great friendship, but also someone who maintains these qualities while exhausted and in pain.

Let me tell you a little story.

Nashville Marathon.  Mile 22, I was spent.  The weather was horrid.  It was 86 degrees and 95% humidity.  Stifling.  And the course was less than awesome. By mile 22 I was more irritable than I have ever been.

Then we hit a hill.

I swear there was fire coming out of my nose … my running partner at the time (RB and I had separate partners at that race) looked at me and sweetly asked “Everything ok?  You don’t have to talk but you’re suddenly really quiet”  My not sweet response: “I cant believe there is another *&%@ing hill.  I just want this over NOW” I was not a good running buddy at that moment.  K if you’re reading this, very sorry!

RB would have never done that.  In fact at that same marathon she got separated from her running partner and felt so bad that she circled back at mile 24 to get her.  She ran 29.2 miles that day to the rest of our 26.2.  An angel in sneakers.

Me and RB ... I was 7 months pregnant and waddling through races. She totally stayed with me the whole time. ANGEL.

Do you have a running buddy?  What makes them extra special?  

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