Thursday, March 8, 2012

Praying for a Partner


I'm supposed to run 14 miles tomorrow.  Niki is still in Steamboat skiing so that means I have to run it alone.  UGH!  And in case you are wondering... Yes, she texted me to tell me that she already ran HER 14 for the week... 11 outside then she finished the last 3 on the treadmill.  She said she "fell once and slipped a bunch" on the 11 miler.  Glad she didn't get hurt.

So,  I need to run in the morning.  I checked the weather and the forecast reads: Cloudy with a 50% chance of rain.  Low of 52.  High of 55.  Winds N 10-20 MPH.  Double UUGGHH!!  Wind, rain, humidity AND warm.  My ideal running conditions are sunny, no wind and in the 30s.  So tomorrow is going to be brutal.  OH, and I'll be running it by myself.  Triple UUUGGGHHH!!!

It's days like tomorrow that make me truly appreciate my running partners... past and present.  A running partner always makes a bad run better.

I've been so blessed with some amazing running partners over the years.

Niki, Val & Me - 2011 Cap Tex Tri

Val - I met Val when my family moved to Brenham.  I was in the third grade,  the new girl at school and one day at recess I was swinging with my only friend at the time, Sandra.  Val marched up to the swing set and announced to Sandra that, "I was HER friend now."  Off we went.  I don't know what happened to Sandra but Val and I have been great friends ever since.   Val and I ended up both living in Austin during most of the 90s.  We did our very first marathons together.  She also got me started in triathlons.  We've had some fun times and still do races together when we can.

Audrau - After moving to College Station in 2004, I was partner-less and hated every minute of it.  Eventually I talked my friend, Audrau, into training with me.  Audrau lives in Industry, outside of Brenham, so every Saturday I would drive 45 minutes to Brenham, we'd meet and run, then I'd drive 45 minutes back.  Crazy, right?  Audrau and I did several half marathons and triathlons together.

Niki, Audrau & Me - Beach Vacation w/ our families
Janet - Then God blessed me with Janet.  I was introduced to Janet the summer of 2006 through a mutual friend.  We decided to meet up the next week for a run.  We ended up running together, almost every week, three days a week, for five years.  Janet moved this past summer.  I miss her dearly!

The 3 Amigas - Janet, Niki and Me at TriWaco
Niki - Niki came while Janet and I were still running together.  Janet's husband was changing jobs and there was a really good chance Janet wouldn't be living in College Station much longer.  I started praying and asking God to bring me a new running partner.  You might think that's silly - praying for a running partner - but a running partner is friend, sister, therapist and so much more... all wrapped into one person.  I desperately wanted someone to fill that space.

That fall (specifically the first day of school in August, 2008) a small group of friends and I met for lunch.  It's a tradition for our group to meet the first day of school every year.  Someone in the group knew of this new girl in town with kids at our school so she invited her to join us.  The girl showed up.  Yes, it was Niki.  During conversation she mentioned she was a runner. Hmmm, she says she's a runner...  We shall see.  :)
First day of school lunch, August 2008
So I said to her, "If you want to run with me in the morning, be at the corner of Congressional and Pine Valley at 5:30am.  At 5:30am a lady named Janet will come out of her house.  She lives right there.  I'll tell her to be looking for you.  You guys will run together to my house.  Don't be late because she won't wait."

That morning I stood in my kitchen looking out the window waiting, like I always did, to see Janet come around the corner, visible only by the streetlights.  To my amazement, this time there were two runners coming instead of one.  I was shocked.

Niki and I have run together ever since.  Sometimes three times a week, sometimes 5.  We rarely miss a workout together - even through Taylor's diagnosis we still did our best to get in our runs... our therapy.  Over the last two years alone we've done four marathons together, a bunch of halfs, several triathlons and a 50 mile bike race.   But more importantly, Niki and her family (like all my previous running partners) have become our family.  

I'm so thankful God answered that very specific prayer for me back in 2008.  What a blessing!  Yes, tomorrow's run is going to be brutal and I'll be by myself but that's OK because my running partner comes back next week!


  1. Hi Lisa,
    I'm a friend of Brandi's and met you at her wedding. I'm enjoying your and Niki's blog so much and wish you the best in the rest of the gut wrenching, true test of nearing-the-end-of-training-will-I-live-till-the-race days. This post really reasonated with me as I have prayed myself for a running partner. It unfolded so very neatly, and in fact turned into a thriving running group of some of my favorite people in the world. I knew them before in the community, but as you know, what happens before dawn, with our soles in perfect time, is magical. I love my Sole Sisters and miss them deeply, as I have moved away. I think it's time for me to pray...
    Kim Miller

  2. Lisa & Niki,
    Just wanted you to know I'm pulling for you girls as you prepare for this race...I guess you could say running vicariously through you :). From my little experiences of running races, the hardest part of a race is all the time preparing and leading up to it, that the race is almost like your victory lap (stick w me here, I know the Boston is no "victory lap"!). So for now, just know I'm praying for your heart, soul, mind and strength as you run the current race...the hardest time to keep going. I love that God has given you the ability to run this race and the race of life in such a way that brings Him the glory.
    Hugs to you both!
    Paige Robinson