After several years of inconsistently running with me, Ben signed up for a race with me in 2009 and has not stopped running since. Having a running partner has been an awesome experience for many reasons. We tend to balance each other out with different strengths. Ben likes to go for shorter, faster runs; I love longer runs and kick in after about a nine mile warm up. Ben is amazing at trail running as he is nimble and quick. I still prefer to run more than he does and will encourage us to run, but he balances us with a desire to rest and be around people. Running has also forced us to work on our communication as we work through our fears, goals, hopes, pains, and good and bad runs.
For a long time, none of our close friends ran much at all. Last year, a good friend of ours decided to run a half marathon and my heart beamed for her. As running has continued to be a big part of our lives, it has been fun to see how reactions of close friends have changed from “You ran how many miles?” to “I want to do a 5k.” Recently, both parties of a close couple we know have decided to increase mileage. It has been fun to be a part of the journey with them as they plan and increase mileage. It has also been a huge blessing to be there during some of their firsts… her first 5k distance, his first 8 mile run and then half marathon. They have also both joined us for different runs, where they help keep us accountable for going and also bring different strengths and weaknesses to the table. It has been a joy to be able to run with them and see their growth through life and running.