Friends in running.

I am thinking this week about all my friends I know through running. It seems like a big circle, those I run with here in town and all those spread across the country I have met at races and online. It is a really cool circle of running women (a few men in there). I feel blessed to have them in my life.

This weekend we are having a meeting with my coach and several women from the Phoenix area that all share the common goal: Olympic Trials qualifier (OTQ) in the marathon. To join this elite level of women we will need to run a sub 2:43 marathon at a pace of 6:14 per mile for 26.2 miles. I am thrilled to have other women to share this journey with.

I ran my 1st marathon in June 2005 as a fundraiser for my friend Susan (she had undergone a double lung transplant). My friend Kendra and I had done our 1st triathlon together the previous year and decided to train for the marathon and make it a girls trip to San Diego. We had a blast! I qualified for Boston running 3:31 and not even knowing what that meant. A month after the race Susan passed away and left behind her 5yr old son. Running has always been a time to think/pray for Susan. Whenever I have a tough spot I think of her and feel strength. I ran Boston the next spring in her memory.

I started to focus on just running in the fall of 2009 as I reached for the goal to qualify for the 2012 marathon Olympic Trials. Injuries, illness, coach changes and family crisis seem to pile up left and right. I finally found my groove when I started running with Susan Loken (The Legend) late summer of 2010. She introduced me to my coach and the Bandidos group. This group has some wicked fast people!! I remember showing up for the 1st track workout and Sally Meyerhoff was on the track running in the 1 mile timed event that night. She was smoking all the guys and clocked maybe a 4:50ish mile. My immediate thought was “I have arrived! These are the fast people”.

Susan Loken and me at Austin marathon

Susan Loken and me at Austin marathon

Wendy and I racing days after Sally Meyerhoffs death. Paying tribute with braids and pink socks.

Wendy and I racing days after Sally Meyerhoffs death. Paying tribute with braids and pink socks.

Conquering South Mtn with Tere, Arianna, and Susan. 22 miles that day!

Conquering South Mtn with Tere, Arianna, and Susan. 22 miles that day!

Susan, Arianna, John, Ricardo nailing a premarathon run.

Susan, Arianna, John, Ricardo nailing a premarathon run.

Arianna got so fast she had to leave us and join the Brooks-Hanson team. We could not be more proud. http://arianahilborn.com/

It was such a pleasure to meet Wendy Shulick during my running journey in 2011. Wendy was filming a documentary called “Miles to Trials” documenting us women trying to qualify for the Olympic trials http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Miles-Trials-Running-Towards-2012-Film/188446341168490?fref=ts Many of the women I met were because of Wendy.

Jacqui and Christina from Chicago at CIM race.

Jacqui and Christina from Chicago at CIM race.

Filming with Wendy at CIM race.

Filming with Wendy at CIM race.

Running at MCC this fall was really special. It was awesome to have all these teammates even though I was more than 2 decades older than them.

Bekah and I at running camp in Flagstaff.

Bekah and I at running camp in Flagstaff.

Thank you Flash for helping me realize the dream of being a college athlete at the age of 43!

Thank you Flash for helping me realize the dream of being a college athlete at the age of 43!

There are those friends that have been great cross training partners during injuries or help in lifting your spirits.

Icing buddy Lauren Fleshman.

Icing buddy Lauren Fleshman.

Christy and Brooke, where there is a will there is an Elliptigo or bike!

Christy and Brooke, where there is a will there is an Elliptigo or bike!

Oiselle girls supporting Lauren at Olympic Trials in Eugene.

Oiselle girls supporting Lauren at Olympic Trials in Eugene.

My sister in-law Carren is one of my loudest cheerleaders. She is not a runner herself but always finds ways to cheer me on, encourage me and lately keep me honest (yes I had my green juice and Bikram yoga today). She lives in WA but we chat often.

Carren and I with our green juice.

Carren and I with our green juice.

My favorite supporters are not just friends but my family too!

What is mom going to run? 245 at Grandma's Marathon.

What is mom going to run? 245 at Grandma’s Marathon.

My brother, niece, and family at Bigfoot Run in Yacolt, WA.

My brother, niece, and family at Bigfoot Run in Yacolt, WA.

My favorite, racing with the family

My favorite, racing with the family

I could go on and on with the pictures! I look forward to a new journey with some new runners and others I have been running with.

How have friends impacted your running?? I would love to hear your story??

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Kelly LeCours
    Jan 17, 2013 @ 12:11:08

    WOW I just stumbled upon your story!! You are amazing and such an inspiration. I am about to turn 48 years old and continue to dream of faster marathon times. After watching a movie called Fast Women I was drawn to Susan Loken. I tracked her down and asked her to coach me.(I live in the Boston area). You are right she IS the perfect fit. In the short time I have had her as a coach I have set PR’s in the 5k,10k, half marathon, and it is my hope to set a new PR in the marathon at the PF Chang’s Rock and roll marathon this weekend. I will be staying with Susan. You all are so lucky to be surround by such positive women. I often wish I lived in Arizona. Not likely to ever happen so for now I will continue to be inspired by women like you. Good luck in your goals and I have no doubt you will reach them! Cheers! Kelly LeCours

    Reply

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