I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this, but the Ex is out of town on a business trip this weekend. Which means I have the littles all to myself. Mwa ha ha. No, really, it’s good that I get to catch up on some time with them – they were only away for five days, but it felt like so much longer – and it really doesn’t shake up the schedule too much.
Except I don’t get to run.
My running program got a big giant kickstart into high gear last week when Juls and Corrie were here. I had been doing so well in the months leading up to their trip, on pace to hit six miles per run by the time they arrived. Corrie is also a runner, sort of newish to the obsession, and she has her first big race coming up. So we planned on running in the mornings when they were here.
Of course, then I had my sinus infection and my kidneys acted up and my training sort of fell by the wayside for a little bit. I was only up to two miles running, plus some walking at the end of the workouts. Also? A confession – I don’t run so well with other people. My friend Crisanna and I tried it back when she forced me to start running. (Yes, she is to blame and I owe her my next born child or some really good chocolate or something.) We tried running together at the park and realized that we threw off each others’ pace, running way too fast, and couldn’t ever get through a mile before we winded each other. I love her to death, but she was a much faster runner than I ever will be, and that one experience sort of threw me off the idea.
Plus, I like running alone. I like the solitude that I get, quiet time to think my own thoughts, sort through problems, or just think crazy, adreneline-fueled thoughts. Solitary time to think is a very rare quality when you’re a single mom. Hell, it’s rare even if you’re a married mom. Running is my “me” time. Not that I couldn’t give that up for four mornings – I was just worried about how the mechanics were going to work, exactly.
You guys, I never should have worried. Corrie and I? We killed it. We averaged a four-mile workout every morning. Corrie uses interval training and I do my best work when I make myself run my set distance all in one go – usually if I stop, I lose my stamina. And we still worked it out. We paced ourselves well, easily falling into sync. Knowing your running buddy for 20-some-odd years helps, I think – we knew even before the other called time-out that they needed a break. We talked, gossiped, caught up on each others’ lives, we even ran in the kind of comfortable silence only real friends can enjoy. It was just…so easy!
I think part of it was because of magic. Corrie introduced me to this awesome company, Fellow Flowers. It’s a company founded by friend Tori and Mel who believed combining the magic of friendship, loyalty, and running could create wonders. In 2011, Tori asked her “tribe” of girlfriends to run with her in honor of her birthday. There was a half-marathon coming up and all she wanted in the world was to have her friends running with her. Thirteen friends answered the call, which worked out (magically) to one for each mile. To show themselves (and everyone else) that they were together, they hot-glued orange gerber daisies onto barrettes an clips and wore them as they ran. From that one experience grew a company that sells flower clips and tshirts and the like, focusing on running and friendship and inspiration. The original orange flowers stand for friendship and loyalty. Guess what Corrie surprised Julie and I with?
I thought it was awesome that in addition to the truth of friendship and being fiercely united, orange was also our high school color. Which normally would make me vomit – we were dressed in ORANGE GRADUATION GOWNS, PEOPLE. PUMPKIN ORANGE! – but considering the new symbolism, I kind of loved. Obviously the magic of the orange flower made those morning runs one of the highlights of the trip!
I can’t wait until I get my running buddy back. I enjoy having my quiet time still, my time to think, but I miss having someone there to hand me water when I’ve forgotten mine again, someone to goad me into running one more lap, or to distract me with a story as we try to make it to the bench, to the tree, to the next bend in the track.
Yep. No doubt about it: We are rock stars.