A week ago Rock and I were out all day and pulled up to our street around 8:30pm. It was dark and quite and there was a guy running down the street covered in sweat and wearing a fuel belt. Following closely behind him was a girl on a bike. I looked over at Rock and asked, “Do you think they are together?” I commented that it seemed like something you would do during marathon training, recruit your partner to ride along in the evening to get your long run in for the week.
I made my usual comment that I do whenever I see someone out running, “Good for him!” I use this a lot. When I see someone struggling in the heat of the day to get their run in, I don’t say that it would make more sense to run in the early morning or later in the evening when it is cooler. Instead, I know that sometimes schedules don’t always cooperate and the only way we can get a run in is to hit the pavement in the brutal heat. Good for you for getting out there.
Later that night, Rock went to take the dog outside one last time before we went to bed. At 10:30pm he walked back inside and asked me if I remembered that guy I saw running earlier. Of course. Rock had just watched him and the girl on the bike pass by heading back in the opposite direction we had seen them going earlier. They had in fact been out for a very long run; at least two hours. We were both impressed and also proud, for a guy we didn’t even know.
When I see someone who doesn’t necessarily look like a natural born runner, or someone who appears to be struggling, I am proud of them for getting out there. Running isn’t easy. In fact, it is often quite hard. It is difficult even for the elites. They struggle to get through runs or to finish a race too. When you first begin, the whole notion of going out for a run can be incredibly daunting. When you feel like jogging along is awkward or painful, it would be easy to throw in the towel. Good for you for pushing through.
This past Sunday morning I was sitting on the couch in the wee morning hours feeding our 3 week old. It was still dark out and I was struggling to keep my eyes open as I gave her a bottle. I heard a group of people going past our window chatting loudly. At first I was annoyed. Who were these rude people chatting so loudly on the sidewalk so early in the morning? Then I realized that it was my exhaustion that made me feel that way. There is nothing wrong with chatting as you pass by on the sidewalk.
Initially it reminded me of leaving my apartment in NYC to go to work on Sunday mornings and seeing inebriated people on the sidewalks stumbling home from the bars. But then I noticed that these weren’t drunks on the street. It was a familiar upbeat, chatty banter. It was groups running by on their way to the track for a morning training session. As I sat there trying to wrap my head around this in my state of new baby exhaustion, I had to smile. Good for them!
This is a common phrase in our house, in the car, or on a run. I cannot tell you how many times we look at each other and simply nod in agreement, “Good for them!” It is a sense of pride we have for our sport, an acknowledgement that this is difficult. It is a familiar camaraderie that we runners share. When we meet someone and find out they are a runner, something in us changes and we become friends without needing to know much else.
We get it. It hurts at times. It makes you sweat and smell pretty bad. There’s the blisters. Sometimes it makes body parts jiggle in ways we wish it wouldn’t. Other times it makes us chafe in ways we really wish it wouldn’t. But the truth is, we are getting ourselves out there. We are pushing through the aches, the pains, the jiggles and the chafes. And that my friends is awesome.
Good for you!