Am I My Runners' Keeper?
During this running season I have seen a lot more runners dressing exactly alike and a lot more running partners. So this made me begin to think about the benefits to having a running partner(s). One of the many things that I like about being a runner is the alone time, the space to clear my head and remove myself from the distractions of life. But, I would have to say that there are some benefits to running with friends. As I begin to explore this running partner business, I asked different runners at different races why do you run together, and this is what I heard.
While running ZOOMA Austin, I meet Teoahnna and Marcialette who as you can see from the above picture had some awesome encouraging shirts based on the scripture Isaiah 40:31 “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” I get so excited when I see encouraging phrases; scriptures, etc. before, during and even after a race. I learned from these ladies that they are in the same running group and they feed off of each other. One of the runners trains harder and the other runner has a better race time so they hold each other accountable during training and during the race.
This is a great dynamic and I understand this philosophy because I often train with my co-worker Christine who is half my age and more than half my weight, I refer to us as the Road Runner (Christine) and Wylie Coyote (Me) from Looney Tunes because each morning I find myself chasing her, and one day I’m going to catch her. The benefit from running with her is increased endurance and speed.
During RnR Dallas while in the corals I noticed Ginger and her bib said corral 1. Well, if you’re a runner then you know that only the elite runners are assigned to corral 1(so I would be road kill if I started in that corral), so why is Ginger in coral 6? Well she was pacing her brother Matthew who had decided to shoot for a PR. With Ginger’s help he achieved and exceeded his race exception. So the purpose of this running duo was to help the other reach his goal.
It’s so awesome when you find someone who is willing to put their best aside and help someone else, which is kind of the point of a running partner. I have a running partner Christine (not the co-worker but another Christine from my Cedar Hill Run Club). Now, I refer to us as Thelma and Louise, because we are partners in crime. We pick challenging races to run together and we feed off of each other, my pace is good for the first 7 miles then Christine takes over during the last 6.10 miles to push me to the end. We generally run at arm's length during races so that we can communicate with each other. I’m still trying to reach a time of 2:15 and with her help during the race I will get there. (I think it’s time for us to sign in for a Full). This was one of my faviorte races' RnR San Franciso 2017, we loved it so much we signed up again for 2019, (maybe I'll see some of you on the pavement in San Franciso). It wouldn't be a RnR race without the celebratory beverage at the finish.
“Running with friends is priceless” is a familiar hashtag used by LaRon and Rita known as Lucy and Ethel on the pavement. These ladies train together and run side by side in all races. Due to their running they have built a strong friendship. They are in sync with each other’s time and needs on and off the pavement, if you see one in the race just look to the left or the right and you will see the other.
So, I would have to say that there are definitely some bonuses to having a good running partner and to answer the familiar question of “Am I my brother’s keeper” (on the pavement) if you have a running partner then your answer should be “Yes I Am!”
P.S. Don’t forget to hashtag #ontherunwithkrista when you hit the pavement, I’ll be looking for you. See you on the pavement.