I run, train, and race alone. It's not as sad and pathetic as it might sound. I enjoy the time alone, the solitude of logging those miles by myself. I use the time to rock out to my music, pray, and breathe.
I may not share my miles with others but I certainly love to talk about them. I follow countless runners and runner groups on Facebook and Twitter. I have weekly lunches with a dear friend where we mostly talk about running with a few other topics thrown in. Being able to share your triumphs and difficulties with people who understand is priceless.
For about a year and a half, I have been blessed to be a part of an online group called Friends Who Run. There are eight of us, all girls, all runners. One of us is an accomplished runner, regularly logging high mileage even while pregnant with her second child. Another is a newcomer to our group, having recently discovered the joys of running. Virtually watching her discover who she is as a runner has been so much fun. Reading her posts and comments remind me why I fell in love with running in the first place. Some days, my heart explodes with pride. My best friend, who always claimed she was a only a walker, is now excited about buying running shoes and is already planning her first post-baby 5k.
These women are an endless source of inspiration. Over the past year, one of us has run 850 miles, broke her arm and sprained her ankle and just a few days ago ran a 4:22 marathon. How could I not be inspired by that? When I have doubts, they dispel them. When I have questions, they answer them. Knowing I'm not the only one who decided to skip a morning run and sleep in boosts my self esteem.
I am thankful for these women. These strong, unflinching, determined women. I am so proud of everything they have accomplished. I look forward to sharing the stories of my miles with them for many years to come.