I guess in the back of my mind I kind of suspected this was going to happen.
The plan was to run my half marathon in the middle of my friend Amee’s full marathon OR miles 7-20 of the full Prairie Fire Marathon. I even went so far as to tell Amee’s Mom she needed to make me get into the car at mile 20. I might have gotten more suspicious of myself then.
So yes, race day I ran 19.25 miles. Or, as it’s now been dubbed, 3/4 of a marathon.
But let me back up a bit.
This is Amee, my running partner.
For those of you who have serious running partners, you know exactly what I mean when you read the words running partner. For those of you who don’t know, it’s an irreplaceable bond. A true running partner is hard to come by. Someone you spend hours with, sweat with and discuss the good and bad (and really disgusting) things about running with. And mine’s the greatest!
I’ve had several people try to talk me into running a marathon. It’s just not for me at this point in my life. I’m a half marathon runner and that is just fine by me. For the last two years I’ve run one half in the spring and one half in the fall. It works out perfectly. By the time I’m finished training I’m over it and need a break. And when it’s time to start training again I’m more than ready. It’s been a happy cycle in my life. So when Amee thought about doing the full marathon, being the good friend that I am, I did my best to help talk her into it!
Thus began what I like to call “half-sies” training. The decision being that I would run half of all of her long runs with her. If she went 10, I went 5. If she went 20, I went 10 and so on and so forth. First, this was fine by me! I was coming off completing my first triathlon and was no way looking to get back in to regimented training schedule. So I really enjoyed saying “what are we running this week” for a change. Second, this also meant I could never complain. And if it crossed my mind at any time I reminded myself that Amee had already run twice as far as me that day so I better shut my mouth.
All that training, talking about it and the day was FINALLY here!
Here we go!
Picking Amee up at the full marathon mile 7. That’s my little one, Kaleb, who wanted to be a part of the race so badly!
Being the official pacer. Thanks Candice for the Garmin!
These are the cute shirts I had made for us! Thank you Great Image Designs! Mine says “support crew” and Amee’s says, “Don’t mess with a girl who runs 26.2 miles for fun.” Amen.
Yep, there’s Kaleb again….
So, back to the beginning of the story. After some discussion around her mile 15, Amee thought leaving her at mile 20 with 6 more to go (or another hour of running alone) sounded like a long time. I agreed I would stay to mile 23 because that was still a convenient time to get picked up and make it to the end to see her finish.
But I just couldn’t leave her.
Several times she told me she was fine so I didn’t do it because she asked me to. There was something about me feeling like I belonged with her. All those countless hours of training together, talking about this day, planning the route….the outfits. I just wanted to stay with her.
Then at mile 23 that crazy runner inside of me took over and I wanted to make it to the finish line!!
What I did for her is something I simply chose to do to be a good friend. Yes, it’s the farthest I’ve ever run (and plan to run), but it compares in no way to the four months of training she did or her deep commitment to eating Chipotle once a week before each of her long runs. I consider myself lucky to have run 19.25 miles with her. I never heard her complain. She smiled the WHOLE TIME. I kept telling people during the week leading up to the race, “she’s a really tough cookie.” And while that makes me sound like an old lady, I really meant it. I knew she could do it. I never doubted her, even for a second. To say that I am proud is not even close.
Thank you for letting me be a part of your crazy adventure and congratulations to you, Amee! You are an amazing woman, strong person and someone I am not only able to call my very good friend, but my running partner!
The entire support crew!
My little finisher….