This weekend, after months of busy schedules, I had the opportunity to hang out with my friend Mary, the mama who wrote a letter about motherhood and running I posted a while back. She’s been part of my inspiration to take up running, and it was only fitting that we met after she’d run a half marathon and I was gearing up for a run at the park.
In the course of our catching up, Mary mentioned a race she’d heard about at the end of her event that morning: a 5K the week before her thirtieth birthday. Might I like to do the run with her and a bunch of other friends to celebrate? Um, yes, please!
So now it’s official: I am a runner. I signed up for my first 5K! I’m not sure which I’m more excited about, trying to finish in under thirty-five minutes (or even thirty, if I can do that!) or having the t-shirt to wear afterward.
Another friend, Sarah, will run it with me. She’s a runner, too (I’m surrounded by them; maybe this change of heart shouldn’t have been such a surprise), and the first person I went to to hold myself accountable for getting into this sport. She instantly agreed to run a 5K with me when I was ready. Part of what kept me going those first few times out was crafting witty text messages to send her after I finished. Her encouragement—in running and in life—is invaluable to me.
It turns out running is not just about being physically fit. It’s a way to connect with friends, to encourage them and have them encourage me. In a world where we spend more time on electronic devices, communicating across great distances, but not always with the folks right in front of us, I’m grateful for this means of building relationships with women who mean so much to me.
The race is on!