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.