When I interview women runners, one of my go-to questions is: “What are your proudest running moments?” Whether I’m talking to elite athletes or half marathon moms, the answer I get is almost always a variation on the same theme. Instead of citing a personal record or a favorite race, runners consistently mention a time they’ve helped others reach their fitness goals.
This might surprise people not familiar with us runner girls. Outsiders often consider running a solo sport. Think: The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner. What they don’t understand is that running is like a great meal. It can be enjoyable to eat at a table for one, but sharing the dinner makes it 10 times more satisfying.
Personally, I love supporting friends and family in their athletic adventures. My all-time happiest moments in the sport involved running with others. Here are a few of my favorite running moments of the past year. . .
Not too long ago, my friend Shelby used to think she could never be a runner. She has always been fit, but running can be seriously intimidating. When she started, Shelby couldn’t run a mile without stopping (like anyone). But in [March] of last year, Shelby sprinted through the finish of her first 12k.
My mom has always been supportive of me, but growing up, I never saw her run. When she heard about Shelby’s story, she decided to give it a shot. After completing a couch-to-5k training program, I flew up to Massachusetts to join her as she ran her first 5k. Turns out she has some serious talent! That’s a first-place age-group trophy in her hand. : )
Jonathan, my boyfriend, likes to accompany me to races, but has never been interested in running one himself. Last December, he came to cheer for me in a winter-themed 5k and something special happened. He was so inspired by the energy of the running community at the race, that he decided to start training for a 5k. We train together three times a week, and I can’t wait for the race in April. It’s going to be a great day. New shoes always help motivate, so I bought him some kicks for his birthday. . .
My favorite part of working at Women’s Running is sharing my love of running with readers. Check out these two rock-star women who recently were kind enough to send an email that read, “We are confined to running on a treadmill or within our tiny little compound, but we always look forward to getting the new Women’s Running magazine every month to help keep us motivated.” –Mona Waldeck and Diane Wheeler, US Army Corps of Engineers, Afghanistan District, North
So, I’m curious, what are YOUR most memorable running moments?
P.S. Congratulations to Megan Orr, the winner of yesterday’s SPIbelt giveaway! Megan explained what she’s put in her belt: ” I would put my keys! I always hide them somewhere near my car (top of a tire) or under a seat. It makes me super nervous and can’t enjoy my run as much. This way I can run worry free if i am chosen to receive this handy dandy belt. “