Sunday, May 5, 2013

A Very Special Race

Me and Sue pre race.
It is a very rare occasion that you find someone to train with and even more rare that you are so similarly matched that you can comfortably run an entire half marathon  with that individual. Well, I am pretty lucky. Yesterday I ran the Cap City Half Marathon in Columbus for my third time, this time was special to me because I got to experience the entire race with a very good friend of mine.

Sue and I have been running together for over a year. During that time I would venture to say that she has become a very close friend of mine. I mean, how do you not become friends when you spend so much time together? It is a true statement to say that your running buddy probably knows more about you than most people.

This year we intentionally trained for the Cap City half marathon with plans of  running with each other until one or the other felt they wanted to take off, or one or the other needed to back off. Well running with  someone that closely, you end up being a cheer leader for the other. In other words there is a fine balance of knowing when it is time to leave each other or when you should continue prodding each other along.

I am going to say that the first eight miles of the half marathon were quite possibly the best 'feeling' eight miles I have ever run. Somewhere in mile nine a guy told us that we were almost there, the wind was at our backs and it was all down hill from there. Well, here is a lesson for all of you spectators out there. Don't lie to the people running their race. First, I knew the race course and a few more miles did not feel like 'almost there'; second, the wind was NOT at our back, and was actually about to smack us hard in the face for a little while; third, the final mile is all uphill. I knew the facts and so when the guy told us three details about the race that were not true, I went to my very cranky place. At this point, I would have understood if Sue decided to take off, leave me behind and never look back! I obsessed about the hill, I obsessed about the wind, I obsessed about the hill some more! Quite frankly, I was even annoying myself!

Susan didn't miss a beat and I'm glad because this was a point where I really needed a friend. Rather than take off and leave me, she got me out of my negative place by rubbing some guys beard and talking me through my two miles of misery. To be honest, it wasn't even my body that was miserable, only my mind; proof that your mind can ruin an entire race if you let it. Fortunately, I had someone by my side who wouldn't let that happen.

When Sue and I hit High Street and were staring the hill in its face a switch flipped in my mind and I was ready. I was ready to take on the hill, ready to quicken the pace, ready to finish the darn race! That is exactly what we did and I honestly don't think that would have happened had my running buddy, my friend, not been by my side.

As I said on Facebook yesterday there is absolutely nothing better than crossing the finish line of a half marathon with a dear friend! And for that, this race was very special.

Thank you Sue!!! And way to kill that hill!!!


3 comments:

  1. Congratulations!!! You guys looked solid when I saw you! I totally am jealous of your training buddy! Great job!

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  2. Woohoo! That is an absolute gem to find someone like that. Congratulations to both of you!

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  3. You both did a fantastic job! Congrats on your running and your friendship! It's a true friend who can stand it all.

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