A partner in crime, part trois

A few words about my favorite training partner:

It has been almost a decade since we’ve actually physically run together, but she’s one of my biggest supporters and motivators.

We ran cross-country together in high school for a team so small, we barely qualified for competition. Somehow, despite this fact, we didn’t always lose.

I can’t remember a race we didn’t finish together. I also can’t remember having to wait up for her, or having to pick up the pace to keep up.

We were true middle-of-the-packers. In one divisional race, we were handed popsicle sticks denoting our place finish among hundreds of other runners. The numbers on our two sticks were literally the number of people in the race divided by two.

After dozens of hill workouts together, we can communicate solely by spitting and grunting. We try to limit that to while we’re running.

We rewarded our long runs (anything longer than 3 miles at that point) with Hey Daddy bagels, perhaps the best thing to come out of New Jersey besides the Boss (and, of course, us).

We reward long runs with glasses of wine now. We haven’t lived in the same place for a decade. But we still call to congratulate each other after a race. In fact, my marathon finish didn’t feel real until I talked to Jen on the phone afterwards while soaking in the longest ice bath known to man. It’s a testament to our friendship and her conversational skills that the 30-minute ice bath flew by.

I peer-pressured her into running a half marathon around the same time I ran that marathon. She had a great finish, but I think I speak for both of us in saying the finish of either race was far from the best part. It was the way we’d call each other at random times throughout the day to talk about training: our aches and pains, our preference in long-run fuel and the best kind of recovery drink (we like chocolate milk). These topics inevitably led to longer talks about husbands and jobs and life and stuff.

Jen came to visit last weekend with the third member of our trio, Alexis, who didn’t run with us but is an avid cheerleader and supporter in running and in life. Jen and I didn’t get a chance to run together. But we did set a date.

We’re going to do the Broad Street Run in Philadelphia on May 3. With almost 20,000 runners, it bills itself as the largest 10-miler in the United States. I imagine Jen and I will finish right around 10,000. I’m sure we’ll be side by side.

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “A partner in crime, part trois

  1. nic

    GOOD post amy!!! i seriously couldn’t read it fast enough, thinking to myself, “oh who is it?! who’s the running partner?! is it her ipod?! no, her ipod can’t drink wine.” the suspense was killing me. šŸ™‚ and yes, the magoo is doing better. we have our kennedy krieger eval today and i will let you know how it goes. thanks for thinking of us.

  2. Alexis and Brian

    I think just for this post that I need to go out there & learn how to run!!! Actually, Bri used to do the whole running thing, so maybe he could work w/me. What a great tribute to Jen. I hope she reads this & actually makes a comment!

    Here's a plan – maybe (someday?) a threesome 5k in NJ. Afterwards, we'll go to Hey Daddy & later that night we'll drink wine while talking about our husbands & life!

    But for now with your upcoming 10K in Philly – remember that I'm only about about 45 min to 1hr from Philly. So if you need a place to stay the night before or want to come into town early on (a'hem my birthday) May 1, that is cool too!

  3. Amy

    Lexi, you’re TOTALLY on for the 5K, and probably for the Philly lodging/birthday celebration, too!

  4. Jennifer

    Awwww…let me wipe the tears from my eyes. Who would think I could have such an awesome running buddy who lives states away? I’ve had a very difficult time trying to find someone to replace Amy…my sister doesn’t have the time to run and my husband just doesn’t get the chit chat/girl talk that I enjoy so much. You see, she CANNOT be replaced! Luckily, we have been able to run together in spirit throughout the years. I tend to go through running phases, while Amy has remained consistent. She gets me back into the groove when I have fallen out. The moral of the story is…find yourself a great running buddy who can have fun with, share advice with, check up on and who will check up on you. If you have difficulty, I wouldn’t mind sharing my very own running buddy (sorry Amy). Just have to say a simple and grateful THANK YOU for the support you’ve given me over the years. Less importantly, thank you for the spotlight on your blog post!

  5. Jim Ellis

    Glad you like Mudhouse.

    After reading this, I wish I had a running partner like Jennifer.

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