Last week marked the beginning of losses I experienced in 2011. My mom's mom passed away quite suddenly, followed by my dad's dad in March, next was my beloved husband, Taylor, in October, then my mom's dad just weeks following, and last my dad's mom in December. It was a sad year (and a hard last week) for me and my family. Something that helped me so much, something that remained constant through all the tragedy was my running. I've been asked many times and in many ways, why do you run, do you like to run, how do you run that far, etc...my answer is always, "Because I have running partners!" Let me explain.
I lost one of my running partners last year. Taylor and I ran together weekly before he was diagnosed with (non-smokers) lung cancer. We ran 5k's, 10k's, triathlons, 1/2 marathons, and marathons together...well, maybe not "together" he was always ahead of me! T was always up for whatever race Lisa, Janet and I were signed up for. And I always thought it was a blessing that Taylor liked running as much as I did...it's not always the case that a husband and wife share the same hobby! Taylor's last marathon was White Rock in December of 2010, I qualified for Boston and T ran it with lung cancer...not knowing he had it. He was so proud of me and was planning on watching me run in Boston...I know he will be watching me and L!!!
Another running partner moved out of town...I miss you, Janet! J always brought great perspective to our runs. Lisa and I have children between 10-11 years old but J has 1 in college, 1 that just finished college, and 1 that has been out of college for a few years that lives out of state. She would laugh when L and I would start in on our typical adolescent stories/worries...reminding us not to sweat the small stuff. Her wise advice was priceless. She is also planning on coming to Boston to watch us run.
And that left me with Lisa :) And so we run, and talk, and run out of breath so we put on ipods on and run some more. Our time running together has provided us with many sweet conversations. I have grown in my walk with the Lord as Lisa has challenged me, encouraged me, cried and laughed with me. Lisa is the planner...she tells me what races we should run and maps out our long runs...I couldn't do this without her.
So that's why I run. God has given me able legs and amazing running partners!
(picture of James, Taylor, me, Janet, Katy and Lisa at 2010 TriWaco)