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the runway: the five people you meet in running

October 25, 2013

your reason – the thing that makes you go

i don’t know why i do this.  i don’t know why i care so much.  i don’t know why i have the butterflies in my tummy/throat/heart.  i don’t know what makes something that hurts so much so worth it.  i don’t know.  but i do know that i do this for all the people who won’t or can’t or just don’t.  i do this for every teammate i’ve ever had and every coach that’s ever had to run alongside me.  i do this for my dad and my uncle (two cross country greats).  i do this for my grandma who just doesn’t understand why i do this.  i do this for my high school runners who think a marathon is 16 miles.  i do this because otherwise my shoes would just collect daisy fur.  i do this for my mom’s cookies and sarah’s facebook messages.  i don’t know why i do this.  but those are some pretty good reasons.

i run like someone is chasing me

your cheerleader

when i run everything is a blur.  except for my mom’s voice.  her go, jen jen, go! is about the only thing i can hear above the roar of katy perry’s “roar.”  she’s one of my many cheerleaders.  this week has felt like one big bear hug.  my parents are currently driving at a safe speed from atlanta to d.c. to watch the race this weekend.  i got a free donut at dunkin’ donuts this morning for no good reason – but i’m considering it a peace offering from the gods above.  friends far and wide have called and texted and emailed.  and my cross country team has quite literally enveloped me in many a soul-warming hug this week.  like i said yesterday, if you ever want to feel good about yourself – run a marathon.

your mortal enemy

she’s always just a few paces ahead of you.  like your shadow when you’re facing the sun the wrong way, you just can’t seem to catch her.  you probably wouldn’t recognize her face-to-face because all you ever see is her backside.  she represents everything you want to be, all of the goals that are just out of reach.  and she may never know this but she’s the reason you crank the treadmill up just another notch and set your alarm extra early.  she might always be in front of you, but she’s also in the back of your head.  and you want nothing more than to put her behind you.  she’s why you work so hard.  so, let’s call her a frenemy, shall we?

your best friend(s)

she’s got a crazy head of blonde curls and a laugh that makes me crack up.  she’s my fierce little firecracker.  she’s the zaniest and most driven person i know.  she’s a cool girl with a heart of awesomeness.  she was my running buddy in lil lex when life totally straight-up SUCKED.  my dad recounted the famous quote “if you’ve got two friends, you’ve got one more than most” the other day.  through running i have made more than my fair share of awesome, amazing, solid, be there through anything kind of friends.  they are my best friends.  and i would travel miles and miles to be with them…because they’ve helped me through miles and miles on the trails together.

aren’t they pretty?

you – the one you appreciate and root for:

we all have our days.  your cowlick is going cr-azy and you can’t get your ponytail to perk just so.  you’ve had spinach stuck in your teeth all day and no one cared to tell you.  and that bus that just drove by?  it kicked up puddle juice in your face.  we’ve all been there.  but running has taught me that 1.) it could always be worse and 2.) it’s never as bad as you think it is.  i’ve solved many a heartbreak/bad day/lingering problem by hitting the pavement.  i appreciate my legs, my heart and my brain so much more when i put them to use every day.

i also am a really good hydrator.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 25, 2013 2:43 pm

    Good luck and have fun!!!

  2. Notorious permalink
    October 25, 2013 7:00 pm

    Being recognized as even being on the cross-country team was my highlight back in the day. I along with others are in the abstract running with you. Rock on Jenny. —Notorious

  3. October 26, 2013 5:07 am

    just think, you’re looking ahead at someone (your enemy) but back behind you is someone who has you as that motivating force. You’re pretty powerful to that person. And obviously to your family, friends, and readers.

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