Monday, April 22, 2013

"Save It For The Run"

This was a hard text to get.   
     A little background on this text:
     Holly, my long-time running friend from Boston Mass. sends me this screen shot today of a text convo that we had back in October of 2011. Now Holly and I have been friends for years and have always done our long runs together on Sundays. Standing appointment. Every Sunday morning we meet at 5:30am and run many different distances but always try to be home before 8am. We don't meet during the week, don't even talk during the week because afterall, we run long distances. Trust me, there is not too much out there that we haven't talked about. Our favorite term is "Save it for the run". She probably knows more about me than my husband, some of my very best friends and probably more than my family. It's a fact. When you run and train for marathons with a friend, everything comes out.  I've listened for lots of miles and I've talked for lots of miles. She always says she feels like she needs to pay me after our long runs for her therapy session. lol.
     Rewind to October of 2011. We had been training the whole year before for Mercedes Marathon in Birmingham the previous February and me for Goofy Challenge at Disney the previous January. Talk about issues going on! Her hubby was having serious issues with his job and was looking for another one. Mine had already lost his so I was looking to go back to work. We were letting it all out. The good, the bad and the REALLY bad. The financial problems were out of control. We were both stay-at-home moms now facing husbands losing jobs, having to go back to work (which means our houses were upside down), trying to juggle it all and still holding on to our faith that everything happens for a reason. We knew that. Through it all, we still met every single Sunday morning. We ran in the 100+ Bama Heat, in the freezing cold, in the rain and even on the perfect weather days. We both needed these long run days! Now I'm not just beefing this up for a dramatic blog post. This is really the way it happened. 
     Fast Forward to October 25, 2011. I get this text and my heart sank.I knew it would probably be coming. I thought I was prepared for it.  My buddy was leaving. Gah, I couldn't even hardly eat for days. I was beyond sick about this. But....I was happy for her too because I knew what a relief that would be financially. I was there too so I understood it. But selfishly I. WAS. SICK.  My whole running world as I knew it was just not the same. Needless to say, there was no Disney Marathon weekend in store for me the following January. Financially, I just couldn't swing it and I was still in a bit of long-run depression with my friend gone. Bummed big time.  We were both supposed to run the Inaugural Ruben Studdard Half Marathon that following November. I ran it. She was back in Boston by then. This was just awful in my world! 
     So I really was serious about running Boston (or at least trying to). We had talked about it sooo many times because she and her husband are originally from Boston and she knew everything about it. Her brother  and sister-in-law had either ran it or volunteered every year for the past 20 years! Holly had moved to a suburb about 30 min from Downtown Boston so I knew I had a place to stay, food would be cheap...all I needed was a flight but more importantly, had to qualify! ugh. I ran Mercedes in 4:26 the previous February so I was needing to shave off about 45 min off of my time. Really. Not gonna happen. Holly, on the other hand, ran it in 4:02 so it was totally in her range. I had eventually sworn off that I was not even going to  try to qualify but would maybe run for charity or at least come cheer her on or volunteer.
     She texted every single Sunday morning around 6:30 or 7 (my time) to let me know how far she had run, how fast, if she was on the treadmill (it was COLD as crap in Boston) or outside. She was on the road to BQ. This went on for months.  Her hubby was not liking his job too much and they were really missing Alabama. They absolutely loved raising their children here so she was always texting me feeling a little "homesick". She did send me lots of pics of their trips to the Red Sox games and lots of pics from Adam Sandler filming a movie in her neighborhood. That was pretty cool!  Things were fine with me and I was back to running some longer runs by myself. I've got a ton of runner friends here so I was never really running "alone".  I had ran a few half marathons and was running with different friends on for all different types of runs.  I run alot of runs with my sister too but she doesn't live near me so it's hard to train regularly with her. We usually manage to get all of the Disney runs in together though so all was not lost. :)
     Fast forward to Summer of 2012. I get yet another text from Holly saying "Can you believe it? Joe's company is transferring him back to Bama! I'm coming back home". OMG!! I really couldn't believe it. At this point, I had started training again for Goofy Challenge 2013 that I was all set to run with my sister so this was the best news I could have gotten! I had been worried to death about running it. Not about actually running the race, I knew my sister and I would be fine once we got there but It was the training that I was out of my mind about. I had never ran a really long run by myself before and I had already ran Goofy once before so I knew the amount of training I was about to have to do! I just simply replied back..."Let me know when you are back and I'll meet you at the park the next Sunday @ 5:30am." :)
     And so she did...she was back within two weeks of that text and we met the following Sunday at 5:30am and have been running every Sunday since.  At this point,  she has now squashed the dreams of running Boston because she had moved back to Bama and things were just too chaotic with the move and job transfer for her to keep training. I never even gave it another thought really. Until April 15th, 2013. I, like the rest of the world watched the bombing in horror. SO many emotions running through my head. I had friends there running, friends at the finish line waiting for other friends, friends texting me all day asking if I was there!! In no way, do I want to use the The Boston Marathon bombing experience to promote my blog or make it an "all about me" type of thing. It is not my intention to take anything away from those who ran the Marathon or those who were not able to finish or heaven forbid the ones who were injured or lost their lives. What I do want to take away from this is the reality that for me, The Boston Marathon was really just a flight away...I could have easily been there.  I have no doubt in my mind that if she was still living in Boston, we would have both been there. She would have been aiming for about a 3:30 time and I would have been standing there at that finish line waiting for her. OMG.
     I've known it all along but am reminded every single day in so many little ways.."Everything DOES happen for a reason." I thank God every morning for all of the blessings, family and friends that I have. I'm not a sappy sappy person and don't really like to dwell on the bad things in life but this is just one of those times that I'm truly glad that it was not in God's plans for me to be at THAT Boston Marathon. Clearly, I went through alot of heartache and wished for a year that I would be there. Lesson learned. Patience and Contentment...through good times and bad, happy and sad.  I got this. :)

Me, Holly and Diane (one of my other BFFS) at the KBR 5k in Birmingham, Mercedes Weekend, 2011.

 This pic makes me laugh. I texted this to Holly on a day when I was just having a crappy run. I took this at the park where we meet to run and I thought she would really enjoy all of the geese pooping on the track and  missing her. LOL.

 This was the Instagram pic that I tweeted to RunDisney after Holly and I had ran a 20 mile Goofy Challenge training run. She had just moved back to Bama a few weeks before this!

 Typical early Sunday Morning run!
 Me, Holly and Bomb Diggity in Florence Alabama, Race Without Limits (2nd Half Marathon of the BTC Triple Crown Series)

Me, Holly, Her Kiki and the Big Ruben at Magic City Half  2012. (2nd Annual Ruben Studdard Half Marathon)

 Ran 6 Miles and talked about the Boston Marathon the whole way today. Again, this was one of those things that I couldn't even call her on Monday when it happened....Had to "Save it for the run".

**Update: Holly and I are still meeting every Sunday to get our long runs in..Both of our hubs have jobs and we both work Full-time as well :) We've changed our times from 5:30am to later in the afternoon just to mix it up a bit and try to get a few more hours of shuteye on the weekends. We are taking a few weeks off from the really long runs but still running a minimum of 6 miles now and will pick those long runs up again sometime after June when it's waaaaay too hot to run in the afternoons in Alabama! She is not running Dopey Challenge with me but she has already said she's gonna run all of the long runs to get me trained. :)
**Do you have a BRF??


  1. Your story reminds me a buddy of mine so yes, I do have BRF. We are similar pace and have the same drive/determination/stubbornness and we meet up every Saturday morning for a long run! SO glad you have your buddy back!! :0)

    1. I'm glad she is back too...nothing better than running with good friends! :)

  2. I enjoyed your blog.I feel the same way about my running buddy as you do about yours.If you ever decide you need a third buddy count me in.Oh,and I think you smoke crack.

    1. I love you too Bomb Diggity! Crack and all.... :)

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  4. Love this post Kristin. It totally speaks to your bond with Holly, which is so special :) thanks so much for sharing