I’m starting to feel old. Today, as I was heaving and hawing (about the fact that my allergies are bothering me), I started to think about the last time I felt this terrible. It was quite a while ago. That led me to thinking about when I first developed asthma. It was a while ago, during my sophomore year of college. Ironically, it was right around the same time that one of my roommates, Michelle and I, had started running and decided we would start training for…and complete a half-marathon, and perhaps a marathon, one day.
We were gung-ho about it. We signed up for our college cross-country team, attended a health seminar that was required for all sports athletes…and then she was diagnosed with a terrible case of mono (so bad that I believe it affected her kidneys), and I developed uncontrollable asthma (the mon came later for me). Needless to say, we didn’t end up participating on the cross-country team.
We did, however, develop a love for running that year. Even though we weren’t able to attain our goals then, that didn’t mean we wouldn’t pursue them again in the future. The year I started running again, back in 2010 (I can’t believe I’ve been running again for four years! I had to look up my first 5-k, which was in August 2010), I called Michelle up, and told her about it. I am lucky enough that my parents have a summer home a half hour away from where she lives in Maine, so when she heard about it, we decided to train together when I was in Maine, and ultimately start small potatoes (kind of), running a 5-mile beach race after the summer was over.
Michelle and I trained separately throughout most of the summer, but there were times when I went up to Maine and we’d run together. I completed my first 5-k in August, then in September ran my first 5-miler in my hometown on Labor Day Weekend. The following weekend, we were scheduled to run the Lobster Dash in Ogunquit, ME.
Now, I’ll rarely schedule back to back races. But more on that later.
The morning of the Lobster Dash, Michelle called me and told me she couldn’t make it. She was terribly ill. I had deliberated whether or not to run the race, but ultimately decided to. Michelle wanted me to. She didn’t want me to feel badly that she couldn’t make it, but of course I did! We both worked hard to complete it, and I felt so bad that she couldn’t do it with me. Not because I would have to run alone (I’ve done that plenty), but simply because it meant so much to both of us. Nonetheless, I ran the race, and promised to bring her her t-shirt and well-deserved lobster roll afterwards. Which I did.
Nearly a year after we set out to train for our first 5-mile race, Michelle gave birth to her first baby boy. She now has two gorgeous sons. She’s not a runner (at the moment), but we still talk about how we want to complete a marathon someday. Despite my recent asthma problems, I’m really hoping to turn my dreams into reality, this time, with another college roomie (Steph). But when Michelle decides she does want to run a marathon, I know I’ll be there with her!
Your turn: Do you have a running buddy that has helped you set/attain your goals? If so, what goals have they helped you achieve?