Fitness Friday: You Really Get to Know Someone When You Run Together

September 17, 2011 at 1:44 am 3 comments

When I started thinking about fitness challenges, I wrote about a plan I made 11.5 years ago with my friend Jessica. She and I ran our first marathons together in 2000 – Rock’n’Roll San Diego. We met through the Team in Training program in Washington D.C.

We ran together every Saturday morning for about 4 months and would often meet during the week after work or early in the morning. Jess made me run faster than I normally would and I forced her to slow down when she wanted to push too hard.

When you’re stuck with someone for hours on a trail in northern Virginia jumping over large snakes (okay that only happened once) and getting skinned knees on gravel (that happened more than once), you really get know someone. We worked through all kinds of boy problems, work problems, roomie problems and had a lot of laughs.

Here we are 16 kms into San Diego:

Jess & me (with very short hair and ugly shorts) in 2000

And then, after a year of friendship and running, I moved away. But we remained friends. I ran another marathon the following spring, and Jess has probably run 15-20 since then (including Boston in 3:23 and 3:32 in consecutive years).

While we were running that first marathon, we vowed that we would run or walk a marathon every ten years together. It’s now been 11 years. We’ve remained long-distance friends through life’s ups and downs, challenges and joys…but we haven’t run our second marathon together.

Jess and her boyfriend decided on shortish-notice to make a trip to Ottawa this weekend and it just so happens that I’m running the Army Half-Marathon. I managed to find her a race number and we are going to run together. This will count as our ten-year anniversary (albeit half) marathon. She is injured, but my pace is slow for her so she should be fine. It will be like old times: Jess running a half a stride length ahead of me trying to encourage me to run faster and me telling her we need to slow down.

And then, after it’s all over and I’ve hugged my children and my husband and high-fived Jess and John, my little boys will go sleep over at my parents’ house and the four of us will celebrate with wine and food here and then maybe if I have any steam left, we’ll play a few hands of black jack here.

Old Running Buddies and New Running Buddies

Though I do miss my old running buddy, I wanna give a shout out to my current running friends too! Jenn and I run together at least once a week with the gang at the Elation Run Club, and often once or even twice more during the week. Jenn reminds me so much of Jessica. They have similar body types and running styles and both push me to run faster; I seem to play the anchor role in this running partnership too!

That's Jenn by my side during Ottawa Race Weekend

And the rest of you who I run with on Saturdays and sometimes Tuesdays (don’t want to mention names since I don’t have your permission), I so appreciate the company and all the mutual encouragement and I think the same applies to you all – you really get to know people that you run with, and it would be painful to spend hours with people you don’t like… You get my drift; you’re all great!

Elation Run Club; I'm missing.

Best wishes to everyone participating in the Army Run this weekend! My race plan is still to try to break 1:50. I’ll start off at around a 5:10-15/km pace and at the 12 km mark, I will decide to either go for it and maintain or push the pace, or, I will give my permission to just slow down and enjoy the run without any time goal in mind.

Running Rundown

Everything is posted in km. For those of you who only do miles, 1 km = .625 mile OR 1 mile = 1.6 km

Saturday – 10 km slow run (5:50/km pace) and then a peaceful found hour of conversation over coffee.

Tuesday – 5 km run with Jenn (approx 5:30/km pace) and then a 2 km walk; my short runs don’t feel that easy… getting nervous about the race on Sunday

Thursday, early morning– 3.5 km run with a few strides at the end.

Cross Training

Three long walks this week to burn off some of the unused energy.

I’m going back to watching the Season One finale of Friday Night Lights now. Happy weekend y’all! Should have lots of material for next week after the whirlwind I’ve got planned.


Entry filed under: Fitness, Otown. Tags: , , , , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. mostlyfitmom  |  September 17, 2011 at 2:09 am

    Good luck!

    I haven’t started watching Friday Night Lights yet, but really want to. You’ll have to let me know if it’s as good as I’ve heard it is!

  • 2. Stefanie  |  September 17, 2011 at 2:11 am

    Good Luck Liisa! Enjoy your dinner at Town…was there this week with some girlfriends. So yum.

  • 3. Donna  |  September 20, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    Liisa: you are so right – running buddies make all the difference! congratulations on your Army Run race time, you rock.


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