I was trying to come up with some cute Valentine’s Day post to write. Last year, I wrote about how to maintain a healthy relationship with running, which to date is still my longest relationship and currently my best relationship. (Cue: All the Single Ladies, followed by Call Me Maybe.)
Anyway, I had some ideas in my head, but none of them seemed to quite fit, or they seemed like I was trying a little too hard and there’s nothing I hate more than forced blogging. Earlier this week, my attention was drawn to a blog post on Runner’s World…I hardly read Runner’s World anymore (oops?), but this post exactly summed up some of my feelings on running.
What was it about?
Like many runners, I’m a bit obsessed with finding the right training plan, hitting the right paces, and determining which beer to celebrate with. I can analyze the numbers, make a race plan, and try different fuels. But, at the end of the day, I truly just love to run, and even if I never raced again…I’d still run. I don’t run marathons to get a medal or to tell people that I run them…I simply love the distance and the training that goes along with it.
From my early days of running, I ran with a team. Junior high, when I had no idea what I was doing. High school when I learned to run in two single file lines, that I could run faster if I put my mind to it, and that running would bring me some of my best friends. My first high school friend ever was Katie, who I met at the flagpole outside our high school at 6am on the morning of my first cross country practice freshman year. She inspired me to run my first marathon and gave me tips when I had no idea what gels were.
Once in college, I didn’t have that team anymore, but I did have a relationship that had a lot of basis in running. We got to know each other over runs, and it was always a big part of our relationship.
When I moved to NYC, I didn’t know a single person, but I knew that I had to run. On my first day in the city, I went out for a run and ended up leading a blind man around Central Park. Beyond that, I quickly built a group of friends through the common interest of running. Mainly thanks to this blog and twitter, I have plenty of friends to call upon for a run where we catch up, talk about training plans, or don’t mention running at all while the miles fly by.
As an incredibly introverted person, long distance running is definitely my thing. I can spend miles upon miles all by myself, but more and more I’ve realized how much I appreciate my runs with friends. They get me out the door when my legs are tired, help me explore new running routes, or run to celebrate the friendship running has given us.
And you know what? I don’t thank than them enough.
The Runner’s World blog post was all about that…the most important word in running is thanks.
Hopefully you will go to the article and read the entire thing, but here’s an excerpt:
It’s been just over a year since my back pain first started last year. I’m probably too dramatic about it, but at some points I thought running might be taken away from me. Running is a gift, and gifts are best shared with others, so I am forever grateful to my runner friends, to all of you who read this blog, share with me on twitter. My “real life” running friends may carry me through the miles, but your encouragement carried me through my injury and let me experience my love for running through your journeys.
So, to all of you, both in real life and on the internet (and those who fit in both of those categories)….thank you. I love every mile I spend with you and every comment/tweet I get from you. The miles fly by, and your comments have made me break into a huge smile while walking down the streets of this big city.
Running may not give me chocolate tomorrow, but I know it has given me so much more. I will run tomorrow with this in mind, and even if I don’t say it out loud, thank you for running. Thank you for reading. Thanks for the miles.