Although I love to run, I don’t think I would train for a half marathon or even a marathon without a running partner.
I met Marti DiPaola (a fellow blogcritics writer who blogs about traveling through Italy) at a local women’s group. I knew of her in High School and was friends with her brother, Buzzy. But, I never actually met her until about five or six years ago.
When I met her I dabbled in running. I tried it out. I wanted to be a runner, but I wasn’t sure what I was doing. She kept offering to run with me but I was too afraid that she would outrun me and I would regret the whole experience. I knew I was slow. She kept asking me, “When are we going to run?”
One day, I told her I would run with her. That was about two years ago. During that first run, we realized that we had the same gait. We ran the exact same speed and we were actually at the same level. I was shocked. I thought she was so ahead of me and I was nervous about the whole experience. But you know what, it worked out great.
We both trained for the Disney Half Marathon together. Unfortunately, when we got to Disney we both got sick and were unable to run.
Then after that, I ended up running the NYC Half Marathon with my husband, Brian. It was an amazing experience running through Times Square. But I never got to do it with Marti.
After the NYC Half, my husband and I both got injured and didn’t run for almost two years. Right after Hurricane Sandy hit my town and my home, I reached out to Marti.
“Hey, let’s get back into running again,” I said.
She was excited. We downloaded an app called 13.1 and signed up for the Diva Half Marathon in Myrtle Beach. Every day, we would work on running the length of time that the app said we should. At least once a week, we ran together.
On the days that we ran alone, it was tough. It was easier to walk instead of run. It was easier to take a little break. It was easier to stop for a while. But when we ran together, we both encouraged each other to go further.
I’m grateful for this friendship and running partner. She pushes me and I push her and I am looking forward to many more runs together.