Saturday, October 20, 2012

Blind (Running) Date

There are lots of moments that stick with you as a runner:

  • The first time you run a full mile without stopping
  • Breaking a milestone pace 
  • Your first road race
  • Pulling a negative split in a race
  • Nailing that elusive BQ
  • Finishing a speed workout and NOT wanting to die....
Today I had a life-changing running moment and I am so excited to share it. 

Today, I ran with someone.

I know, I know. What's the big deal? People run together all the time. It's like, what runners do. To this I say, yes, it IS what runners do. But sadly, in my case, it is not what I do. Or, I should say, not what I DID.

Where we live there are not a ton of runners. Further, with my life, I have to run when the runnin's good, so I can't always fit in with the group runs some of the running groups around here do. (And by "around here" I am talking a good hour or so away. Hello, inconvenient!) And most of the runners I know personally are not as game for a 5AM run as one might expect. (Facetious tone intended).

Plus, running with someone new is SCARY! There are so many what ifs...
  • What if she's much faster than me? How humiliating!
  • What if she's much slower than me? How annoying!
  • What if she is way to the Right of me on political and social issues? How ignorant! 
  • What if she is way to the Left of me on political and social issues? How self-righteous! 
  • What if she wants to sell me on her Fringe Cult Religion? How rude!
  • What if she thinks I talk too much? How embarrassing!
  • What if I like her and she doesn't like me? How high school!
And the list of possible horrifying scenarios goes on for miles. (Ha! Miles...)

Well, something really incredible happened today. I went on a bit of a Running Blind Date and it.was.fabulous! I met Speedy Chic (I won't give her name 'cuz I didn't ask her yet if I could) through one of my teacher friends. Her husband and kids were at the 5K I did last week and when my friend (the kids' teacher) asked "where's mom?" the answer was, "out on her 20-miler."

I almost peed my pants. 

I chatted with Dad and the kids before the race and gathered very quickly that they were hilarious, easy going, and (drum roll...) only about 2 miles down the road! In our conversation I quickly ascertained that Speedy Chic was, indeed, speedy. She's a Boston Qualifier and the previous weekend had done a 1:40 1/2 marathon. Phew. She does not mess around. I had to get in on that!

I mentioned casually to her husband that I might try to stalk her a bit so maybe I could run part of her long runs with her. (She's got a marathon coming up in November). He agreed that she might like that. So, I asked my friend to get her email address if she was willing to give me a Try Out as a running buddy. She did and I did... 

Speedy Chic is new in town and has been, for the last few years, training regularly with Team In Training for marathons and triathlons. She is accustomed to a running group and really missed having her running buddies.

[Cue angel choir....]

So, I sent her one of my classic dorky/attempting humor emails to find out if she was game. And, of course, she was! 

We met this morning so I could do about 8 miles of her 12-miler with her. The run was great and, for me, FAST. We huffed and talked along the back roads (read: mountains) of town. I eventually just had to come out and admit that I needed to slow down. She was very accommodating... it was a big a$$ hill! For her it was a slow 12-mile run. For me it was a tough 9-miler. But, it worked for both of us. Yay! 

The best part, of course, was hearing each others running back stories and finding out how very much we had in common. How many other BQers can claim to also be theater geeks? She is! Well, at least she was in high school, which is still pretty cool.

As is the case with running, we quickly started talking about real stuff. (Them endorphins... I swear they are like truth serum!) We talked enough politics to know that we can talk politics. We talked enough religion to know that we can talk religion. We talked enough parenting to know we can talk parenting. (Fingers crossed... I really think our kids would get a kick out of each other, too.)

I talked and listened the whole way. And while I glad to be done running, I was sad to have to say good bye to our great, long chat. And as soon as I got home, I emailed her because there were a couple of things I forgot to say. Hard to believe, but it's true!

Tonight I am pleasantly exhausted and I know I will sleep like a log.

I am beyond happy and beyond excited for my next run with Speedy Chic. She's even game for some scary o'clock outings during the week. Hard core!

She's also trying to plant the idea of a spring marathon in my head. I dunno... that's a LOT of training. But, with someone like her to motivate me, ya never know.
I don't have a photo of Speedy Chic, but when I did a Google Images search for "speedy chic" this was the first result.  Totally awesome, isn't it??
So, a week ago today, the Running Goddesses looked down on our little town and decided we needed each other. And today, we fulfilled the prophecy. Thank you, Running Goddesses. I hope I am worthy of Your Benevolent Intervention.

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