Monday, April 11, 2011

Friendship and Running

I never post pictures of myself on my blog, so why I would start doing so with a picture taken after 13.1 miles is beyond me. I must still be on a runner's high. It was just so amazing. I loved every minute of the run. Running is something I started doing in junior high. I remember seeing my friend's mom jogging around the block. My brain went "click." "Oh," I thought. "I could do that too." I was already a soccer player, but it had never occurred to me that you could go running in your neighborhood with no other purpose than to make it from point A to point B. I was hooked. It became my therapy, and it still is today. It just makes me feel sooooo good. I signed up for this Half Marathon back in January. The run took place on my sister's death date and I figured it would be a way to celebrate instead of feeling sad. I didn't know another soul running it, but I signed up anyway. I have run by myself for years. I haven't had a running partner since my last one left the country more than a dozen years ago. (Don't raise your eyebrows. She didn't leave because of me!) The thing is, due to my fear of dogs thanks to this, I was running whenever I thought no one else would be on the trails. For instance, when it was 25 degrees early in the morning instead of a balmy 5o degrees in the afternoons. I was determined to keep running no matter how bad my fears were. All that changed when Liz and I started running together. She became the one who boosted my confidence about dog encounters and literally shielded me with her body by passing between the dogs and me. I was initially ashamed and embarassed that she had become a witness to my panicked encounters with dogs. Always, she made me feel normal as I struggled to work through the PTSD from the dog attack. Now, can you ask more from a friend and running partner than that? I am so grateful.
So, you can read all about her account of the Half Marathon and our friendship here on her blog. Just know, though, that I'm counting my lucky stars that she's been with me on all those training runs. She's one of the reasons I'm able to pass a dog without shaking uncontrollably, crying, or hiding behind trees. She's been a part of helping me to do something that has been bigger and harder than a Half Marathon (because the PTSD was really that bad for me a few short months ago.) She's been the friend that I couldn't have done it without. Thank YOU, Liz. Here's to years of friendship and running.

6 comments:

liz at olliekate said...

Thank You Heather for such kind words. you are such a strong woman. Heres to many more miles together!

Melissa said...

That is so, so awesome! I need to find a running buddy who can push me and take care of me at the same time--you are very lucky!

Frivolitea said...

What a great post. You both are lovely women,

JEAN said...

I have tears of joy! Thank you for sharing your pain and victory. This is a beautiful story. Congradulations on your successful run and meaningful choices in life.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Heather this is such good news and I'm so very happy that you have a running buddy!! Congratulations to both of you. Love, Noreen

sewkatiedid said...

You're inspirational. Wish you lived closer so you could get me off my bootie!