A few months ago I was on a group run chatting with a local journalist. We were talking about how accomplished Dean Kanarzes is and how he is both talented and a bit arrogant at times. Many people love him and others do not at all. The journalist asked if I had ever read “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running” by Haruki Murakami. One part about the book that he enjoyed in particular was Murakami’s modesty and gratefulness for all of the people involved in helping him get to where he was today with his running. I have been logging a lot of miles in Aruba and just finished this beautiful book.
This morning as I ran I was really struggling. It is funny how I finally got accustomed to subzero running temperatures and was really looking forward to running in some Caribbean weather. Well, my cold weather body is having a hard time acclimating to this tropical humidity. As I pushed through my run this morning I started thinking about my running team. Who are the people on my running team that make it all happen?
First there is my husband. He’s my running partner and goes along with my crazy ideas, like running races or tackling a marathon. He encourages me when I decide I need to find something else to train for. He works out with me and reads up on training techniques. He rolls his eyes in annoyed understanding when I log long run after long run down here.
It never would have started if my dad hadn’t been my track coach back in middle school. He saw that I could be a talented middle distance runner and when I quit in high school he didn’t make me feel guilty. Somehow I think he knew running would find its way back into my life. And my mom has met me at many a finish line with a change of clothing and a race recap.
My brother-in-law and his girlfriend joined us to not only cheer us on at our first marathon, but to help pull us along near the end of the race when things start to get a little more than just hard. Not only did they drive several hours to be there for our race, they will forever be a part of that special memory. His girlfriend was at almost every other mile to cheer us on and offer assistance with gear and refreshments. She was a sweetheart as I shouted at her to take my sunglasses that kept fogging up on me.
My mother and father in-laws house has many times been used as base camp for a long run. I’ve walked through their door a pretty sweaty mess and they have always been encouraging. I also always know that if the run gets too hard someone is always willing to pick me up.
So many family members have joined us for a race, often planned around a vacation. It has made our trips and races all the more exciting to share with family and friends. Several of them had never even really run before and were happy to tag along. There are a lot of good sports in our family!
My girlfriends patiently listen to my ramblings about running. They even maneuvered my bachelorette party around a marathon training long run. By the time I finished my 18 mile run they were set up with sandwiches and prosecco and ready to try to make me look halfway presentable!
There’s the podiatrist who healed my plantar fasciitis after I ran on it in denial for months. The massage therapist that I always go to only after my body is a total knot. My friend Sara who is an incredibly accomplished runner and despite a busy life herself will answer my silly running questions and help plan out my training.
It is really incredible when you think about how many people it actually takes to help make you a runner. This is a special thanks to everyone who has helped me out, listened to my running stories or complaints, and helped pull me along a race or training route.