Today marked an end of a very special era – an era that started with my original BRF back in 1997…
In 1997 I trained for my very first marathon and ultra alone, and occasionally while out on my training runs I’d pass three runners who I knew from my neighborhood. Had I asked to join them, they would have welcomed me with open arms; and had they invited me on a run, I would have jumped at the chance. In reality though, they thought I preferred running alone and I assumed their circle of three was complete.
While waiting for our local 1998 turkey trot to start, I struck up a conversation with these ladies and the rest is history. With a tender IT band resulting from a flare-up during my JFK 50-Miler, I had to wait about a month while babying it before I could resume running. I joined my new running friends, plus another runner who joined the group at about the same time, for my first official group run in early January 1998.
I remember being nervous before that first run – worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep up or that I wouldn’t have anything in common with this group of friends. I quickly learned that we all ran at about the same pace and with our children’s similar ages, we had plenty of material to keep us chatting for hours.
For years we met at 6 AM most weekday mornings for a five-mile run. After several years, one of our band of five runners moved away, another chose to focus on tennis over running, and eventually another runner moved. Our group of five was down to two – the lone holdouts, Susan and Deb.
Eighteen years later, Susan and I have run countless miles together both during training and at races; and we’ve even added another very special friend, Shawn, to our little fold. These two are the ladies who I refer to as my BRF’s. They are friends who I’ve run with the longest, know me the best, and love me despite my many flaws.
The three of us ran together three mornings a week for years, juggling our schedules as necessary. Eventually, work got in the way of our early morning runs and we each had to do our own thing, but we continued with our Sunday morning runs. If one of us needed to take a few weeks off to let an injury recover, we’d all walk instead of running; and then at some point a couple of years ago, our Sunday morning runs consistently became Sunday morning walks.
Once winter hit, we disbanded until spring because walking in the cold was much rougher than running in it. This spring we were a little slow starting back with our walks and before we knew it we’d come to the day we dreaded; today was our final Sunday morning walk for our little threesome. Next Sunday, it will just be Shawn and me meeting because Susan will be moving away this coming Friday.
I will miss Susan terribly, but hope to see her from time to time; and she knows that there’s an open invitation to stay at our house for her and her husband whenever she’s in town.
Yes, running brought this fabulous friend to me; and through running, Susan and I forged a deep and lasting friendship. She is the kindest person I have ever met, and has taught me so much about how to be a friend. We’ve been there for each other during the loss of parents, the marriages of children, and just last week I got to hold her first grandchild in my arms.
Be safe in your next adventure, my friend, and remember me whenever you see Little Debbie Fudge Rounds at the grocery store (because we both know that neither one of us would ever be tempted to buy a box and eat a bite of their chocolatey fudgy deliciousness)! 😉
Speaking of running and eating chocolatey fudgy deliciousness, here’s how my workouts and nutrition went down this past week…
Fitness tools beyond the equipment in my gym that I used during the week included:
- Rodney Yee’s Complete Yoga For Beginners (affiliate link)
- Rodney Yee’s Intermediate Yoga (affiliate link)
- Rodney Yee’s Yoga Conditioning For Athletes (affiliate link)
- Teeter Hang Ups Inversion (affiliate link)
Cameras used for blog photography include:
- Who’s has been your friend for the longest?
- How often do you run with friends?
- Did you race this weekend?
Have a great week!
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