A partner makes long-run days so much better!
Beep… beep… beep…
My alarm rudely awakened me at 7:00AM. My body protested, as this is normally my day to sleep in.
“It’s Saturday,” my brain told me. “Why did you wake me up so early?”
I had people counting on me to show up to run, so I got out of bed.
A devoted member of the Church of the Sunday Long Run, it felt truly odd to plan to run on Saturday instead. After running for over 10 years with most of my long runs on Sunday, my body is simply programmed for that weekly habit.
I’m training for my 11th marathon, and I needed 12 miles last weekend. This is my first time training for a spring marathon, my first marathon training cycle without a team, and I’m already starting to feel burdened by the weekend miles. I was really happy that this weekend was a drop-back run.
I can’t believe I’m already at the point in my training cycle where I get to brag about running “only 12 miles” during these semi-recovery weeks.
My fellow fall marathon training team coaches wanted to meet for coffee on Sunday morning, so a Saturday run it was!
I had put out some feelers to my friends who also needed this mileage. I had a semisolid plan to run with possibly 2 friends. Unfortunately, they both bailed. One with IT band pain. The other with stomach issues. Sigh. It looked like my run would be solo.
Part of me wanted to reach out to my best friend, my running partner of almost 10 years. But I knew she didn’t want to run as far as me. And it was already 7:30 in the morning. I resigned myself to my lonely destiny.
With an uncharacteristic bundle of dread, I drove to my anchor spot for my run. The parking lot was crowded. I forgot that training teams were in full swing for the Monument 10k and that youth sports were also happening on Saturday. Ah, the things that don’t affect my Sunday runs.
I set off on the usual beginning of my route. Suddenly, I saw a familiar figure in the distance. I’d recognize her running gait anywhere. I finally caught up to her.
“Patty!” I yelled. She turned around.
“Hey! What a nice surprise!” she replied.
It was my running partner! I was dumbfounded by my outstanding luck. The universe decided that we needed a run together after all.
“I’m so glad to see you!” I exclaimed. “I almost reached out, but figured you’d already started your run if you were running!” I told her.
How crazy is it that we both chose to run on Saturday, from the same place, on the same route, and at the same time? The stars were definitely aligned.
I so appreciated the time we had to catch up on our lives, as it had been weeks since we had been able to run together. My spirit was renewed, and the company helped to pass the time.
She had planned 8 miles that day. We worked our route to allow her to run over 6 miles with me. We said our goodbyes, she turned back to her car, and I ran the remainder of my miles solo.
Around mile 9, I finally turned on some music. It made the final 3 miles go by faster than expected.
Finally, my 12-mile run was done. And the effort that I dreaded didn’t seem that bad once it was over.
Having company for the first half of the run was amazing and totally unexpected. The universe certainly works in mysterious ways. And I really needed that time with my best friend.
Of all of the friends I’ve ever had, she has been the one person in my life who has believed that I could do more than I thought possible. She is the one who convinced me that I was capable of running the marathon and, eventually, an ultramarathon as well. I definitely wouldn’t be the runner I am today without Patty.
I’m so grateful that the universe brought us together, and I’m especially grateful that it worked to allow us to run together this weekend! It was exactly what my soul needed.
It’s funny how things work out.
Have you ever had a happy coincidence like this? Sometimes, it doesn’t feel so accidental. Do you have a running partner who inspires you (AKA: talks you into pursuing crazy goals?) I’d love to hear about it!
As always, I hope you all are safe and healthy.
2 thoughts on “Sometimes the Universe Knows You Need a Running Partner”
I was in DC for a work conference a couple years ago, and was just heading out for a run the night before from my hotel when I happened to check Facebook and a friend of mine had just posted “in DC trying to get up the motivation to run after work before I go home!”. I replied saying I was in DC too and did she want to meet up? Turns out we were only 5 blocks away from each other! We ran 4 miles together up and down the Mall past all the monuments. It was so much better than running alone and a total surprise.
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