My Running Girls

I don't think my anyone would call me FAST these days. But I run a lot, and I've done it for a long time. I met my "running girls" training for the 2003 Portland Marathon. We don't see each other a ton outside of running. I know this because when I see Raelee with mascara on, KP with her hair down, or Cristina in heels I do a double take. But put 'em in shorts, turn 'em around, and I could pick their rears out of a line up of booties.

Here we are after 20 miles of running...
Even though the majority of time we're together we're in sports bras and haven't showered yet for the day, I love my time with these ladies! When you're running for an hour or three you get to know one another fast and well. Here are 20 ways to know you've found a running girl...
1. Running girls don't tell you (when you show up yawning at 6:30 am on a Saturday) that you have a crooked pony tail and last night's mascara smudged under your eyes. Because they know you already know.
2. If you stop mid-sentence while you're running up a steep incline, they don't think twice. They know you'll continue as soon as you catch your breath. Same goes for conversation under the east side of the morrison bridge- conversation pauses and then resumes as the din of traffic dies down.
3. Running girls will share their water with you at mile 8 and don't expect you to take the lid off. Maybe wipe off your mouth boogers, but you're welcome to share their lid.
4. You stay in touch during the week but if a particularly exciting/juicy thing happens, running girls collectively agree to save that story for the long run on Saturday.
5. If you're trail running and terrified of stepping on a snake, one girl will help you keep an eye out for them and one will yell "SNAAAAKE!" here & there just to watch you scream.
6. Conversation usually covers all topics, taboo & otherwise. Most often in this order:
miles 1-3= catch up on recent events (what did you do last night?)***though this conversation is entirely trumped by any traumatic event that happened during the week (break ups, marriage proposals, etc.) if such a thing occured
miles 4-6= what are you doing the rest of the weekend? what's going on with your family?
miles 7-10= one or more of the following: sex, politics, religion
miles 11+= what are you hungry for, and what hurts?
7. Even after 8 years of running up to the Leif trail head from various locations in the pearl, no one can agree on how far it is.
8. If life's got you down and you start to cry on a run, this will happen: You'll hear the simultaneous BEEP of stopwatches pausing. Feet will come to a halt. Arms will wrap around you, and if you're lucky, someone will come up with a wad of TP to wipe away your tears. This is especially kind because if someone's carrying TP on a long run, they probably had other uses for it in mind besides wiping away your tears. THAT's how loving they are.
9. A solid 2-3 miles can be spent debating the relative merits of goo, sports beans, clif shots & the like.
10. If one of your girls leaves for 2 years to chase a european dream, you'll miss her like crazy. You'll celebrate with her when she departs to live her dream, but you'll celebrate way more when she finally moves back home!
11. You used to spend Saturday morning runs talking about how little sleep you got because of your wild & crazy Friday nights. Now you spend the time talking about how many times the kids woke you up.
12. If you're looking for your running girls amidst the chaos of the St. Patrick's day run, feeling frazzled and wrecked because your mom had a stroke that week, when you finally spot them you'll make eye contact and start to cry. They will hurry across the street and hug the heck out of you. They'll offer to come pull weeds in you momma's yard - and mean it.
13. If one you get fat with child, running girls will tell you that your ass still looks small & when you're done being pregnant, they'll start running with you again -even though you can't go very far or very fast.
14. Sometimes you buy your running girl's starbucks. And sometimes she buys yours. And whoever orders knows to also ask for: two cups of water, please.
15.When you're in a portapotty a running girl will give you a 15 feet of privacy.
16. If you trip and fall while running, and snot comes shooting out of your nose and your bare ass gets exposed because your spandex got caught on asphalt, a running girl will make sure you're ok before she starts laughing.
17. If you meet early in the morning to run, and show up with a box knife for protection, a running girl will recognize how clever this is.
18. A running girl will say to you once every 4-6 weeks: You're looking great! Are you losing weight?
19. If a girl's sweet daddy dies, running girls will show up to give her hugs and share her tears of grief.
20. If a girl gives birth to a sweet baby, running girls will show up to hold him and share her tears of joy.

That's what running girls are about.


K Pitty said...

Michelle - what a great entry... I'm laughing and crying at the same time. I'm so thankful to have you girls in my life, and hope to keep running, whether it be with fuel belts, bob's, or walkers, for many, many more years. Love you!!

The Ropp Family said...

What a completely wonderful blog.

I'm going to go run now...with some cows, it's Albany ya know.

Anonymous said...

Even though I am technically no longer a running girl, some how, because of the love, friendship and hours we have spent, I still feel like a running girl. Thanks MM, CB and KP for NEVER leaving me behind. I am grateful for each of you in my life. R

Tera said...

You are inspire me cousin.

5 Miles 2 Empty said...

Wow! This brought a tear to my eye...I'm about to move across the country and leaving some of the best running buddies behind. I am so sad and my heart hurts. I am trying to think positive and believe I will find new ones, but I want my old ones...I want them all to come with me. They have been through so much with me...how will new ones ever compare? I know they will but still...

Great post!

Paige said...

Makes me want to go hug my running girls! Thank you for making me appreciate them that much more.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE this entry!!!! I have a great friend that I run with every single weekend! I was cracking up at the one about miles 1-3 are for catching up from the week, etc. That's totally how our long runs go. Thanks for the good laugh...and so much truth!

Anonymous said...

I lost my sweet daddy 5 months ago and not only did my running girls give me hugs, they stopped with me at mile 11 so that I could catch my breath from crying. Don't know what I would do without them. LOVE your blog and so happy RLAM posted it!

ann said...

so cute! I love it!

Rene' said...

found your blog on RLAM and it made me laugh the whole time. you definitely hit the nail on the head. yay for running friends/partners. great, great entry!!!

KathyinMN said...

Yessirree to #8

kristen machado said...

i LOVED this!! i also have a group of runner girls! we have been running together since 2002 and one of them passed on this blog. since 2005, i have had a malignant tumor recur in my right arm 3 times. finally, when it recurred this past may for the 3rd time, my husband and i decided on amputation. who visited us when we were 2 hours away in san francisco?? my runner girls! i am just getting back on the trail THIS WEEK and am very grateful for it ALL. who is still there to hold my stuff or tie things for me???? that's right...my runner girls. your blog was awesome and made me realize, once again, how special runner girl friends are!!
thank you :)

Christen said...

Love, love, LOVE you Kristen! Yes, thanks for this blog. It brought me tears of joy because you were describing our group! Except here in CA we yell, SKUUUNNNK!

karmat said...

I loved this blog! My friend sent it to me and it describes my "runner girls" to the tee! Miss you Kristen and Christen...hope you are back on the trail soon...and Starbucks soon!!!