One of the best things I love about running is the people. First, a little back story.
I ran in college, and I liked it. It was a good way to get outside, get moving, get away from studying. I had troubles with my hips and knees, so could never run very far. I once asked a doctor what was up, and he told me I just wasn’t made to run.
Cut to several years later, one of my best friends Melissa was coming to town to run the Nike Women’s half marathon. We met for dinner the night before and I wished her luck. I thought it sounded like so much fun. But I couldn’t run very far, right? So I couldn’t do one.
The next year she was going to run the same half marathon again. I really wanted to try, and with a little nudging from her (thank you, Melissa!!) I signed up. I got accepted in the lottery of people who were chosen to run. I quickly became enthralled with the training plan, the miles, how, when, why. I got help for my hips and knees (magically, I could run past 6 miles). I was scared to run outside alone, so I did all my running on a treadmill, but I didn’t care. I loved it.
At the same time, I was still deep into showing horses. I started riding when I was about 4 or 5, and showed competitively through junior high, high school, and some of college.
My mom always came to the horse shows with me, and we quickly got to know all the other people who showed horses like us. We had a barn (kind of like team mates on a track team), that we trained with and traveled with. All the horse people were very friendly and fun, and they understood the crazy schedules and lives of horse showing fanatics.
My once in a lifetime horse, Jack. The most special horse <3
You can read my post about why I decided to stop showing horses here. The biggest thing I miss from that time in my life is the big hearted, four legged friend I had in Jack. But I also miss my horsey friends. Of course we all say we will keep in touch, but I know how life gets busy. Don’t get me wrong, a few of my friends from the horse showing world do still keep in touch, and are my true friends. But many I have lost touch with. I know I am a bit out of sight, out of mind for them. A lot of them live across the country and we no longer see each other at horse shows. Besides, I am busy too, so I am not always the best at reaching out. As I get older and become a faux-adult, I realize that is pretty common in life.
What I really wanted to say with this post is how happy I am that the running community has taken place of that a bit. I can be a bit introverted, and a little shy to make the first move – but so many runners have introduced themselves to me at races. The person you are stuck standing with in the corral at the beginning, is sometimes the person you hug first when you cross the finish line (yellow beanie lady from the CIM, I will never forget you!). Knowing I have my passion for running, and knowing I can take it anywhere I go gave me the courage to say it was time to take a step back from my horse show hobby.
Pretty much any town has a running store, and maybe a local running group, and then there are all the internet friends who run too. Through blogging and talking about all this running craziness – I have gotten SO many amazing, kick ass women as friends. Women who can do it all, and will tell you the down and dirty, nitty gritty of their struggles.
There is a big horse show happening this week – one that I used to attend every year, without fail. Even when I had to fight for time off from my job. Jack is there showing with his new mom (kick butt you two!). It is making me miss the horse world. But then I get a text from a running buddy, or talk with a running friend about pacing, shoes, or how to choose which marathon to run this fall, and it makes my heart happy. Someone at my new job even sought me out to introduce themselves and get to know each other because they run marathons too, and they are working to qualify for Boston.
Happy heart, happy feet, happy HUMP DAY you guys! Thanks for being my friends haha!