Monday, March 7, 2011

Running Partners at Our Feet

They say you never forget your first, your first bike, car, crush, kiss, or running partner.  My first and only human running partner is a wonderful woman who I still count as my friend.  We were thrust into a living situation where our husbands were working and we found ourselves, with other wives, in a different state away from our homes and friends.  Out of this situation friendships formed and to this day we all still share those fond memories.

I often reflect on our running... the gorgeous Pacific Northwest, our fit as partners, and many of the laughs we had on those runs.  We talked about many things and nothing... well I talked or rather babbled and she, as she informed me on our first run, just needed to breathe.

When the job was finished we went back to our regular lives miles apart.   I tried another partner but I think I was ruined.  It just wasn't the same, she was faster, I was slow, she was seasoned, I was struggling, it just didn't work out.

While struggling with my running, my faithful dog Java has always been at my side.  Since I was struggling, my really slow and low mileage was just fine for him.

However, Java is much more at home climbing over rocks and boulders.  If the ground is flat then it's just perfect for sniffing and leaving his signature on the bushes.

Eventually I got a little faster, added speed work to my training, and Java began to show me that this was just not his thing.

Enter Cocoa.

We are not sure what kind of dog Cocoa is but she was born to run fast!   She is poetry in motion when she is free and running at her top speed, which unfortunately is not even close to my top speed at all.

I still ran, made some significant life changes, and discovered another running partner, Kaylee.  Again we are not sure what kind of dog Kaylee is but one thing is for sure she has boundless energy.  We are working on increasing her mileage but she will come back from a 7 mile run and then chase her brother and sister around the yard, up and down the stairs, leap on the bed and look at us like, "Okay, who wants some of this!?!"

I have read all about the benefits of running partners or friends who run and you can commiserate with.  I know a few runners but we are all at different places in our lives and just don't hang out.  I could go on about how far away I live, yada, yada, yada... I could have used it as an excuse to not run or not challenge myself, but I didn't!  I'm still working on my running goals and connecting with runners though Twitter and Facebook and other online forums.

The human factor is awesome and runners 'get' runners!  However, running with another human is not always possible.   I still take all three dogs out but for different workouts.  So, my advice on running partners, look around you, there may be a partner, or several, in the making right at your feet.

Happy Running,
~Theresa, Java, Cocoa, and Kaylee

1 comment:

  1. I don't know where I'd be if it weren't for Kojak, and, of course, the Shilohnator. Though Kojak's starting to gripe over the longer runs, he's still good for the last five miles, so Shiloh and I just swing back and pick him up. As for Shiloh, he looks at 12 miles and snuffs in disdain, as if to say, "Hmmpf. I could run that backwards and still jump a six foot fence afterward." I wish I had that dog's stamina! :)