The inspiration to run is everywhere now-a-days. There are blogs and websites dedicated to it. There are books and youtube videos. I can honestly say that these all inspire me. I love following Distant Runners and I Run to Drink on Facebook. I read Christopher MacDougall’s “Born to Run” twice and have pre-ordered Ben Davis’ “Do Life”. In my life, I’m lucky enough to find inspiration around me every day. My biggest inspiration is my running buddy and friend, Heather aka “Ditto”. (As in we’re both named Heather… She says, “Hi Heather” and I say “Ditto”)
Ditto is the reason I keep running. Ditto and I started running at the same time, both of us with the goal of running a 5K in March of 2011. After that first race, we were hooked. We signed up for other races together and decided to up our mileage. In June of 2011 we did our first 10K and before we had even finished that race we had signed up to run our first half marathon in December of 2011.
Neither of us were runners before this. I was overweight and never believed I could run. Ditto joined the swim team in High School to get out of running. But we loved it. We trained together. Often meeting for our long runs on weekends and then going for breakfast after. The server at our favorite restaurant knows that if we order fruit we ran under 7 miles. Over 7 miles becomes a “Potato Day!” (Half Marathons have us sharing French toast on top of our regular breakfast!!!)
We started bonding over running shoes, the best sports bras, dry wick shirts and the best flavors of Shot Blocks. (Margarita sounds good, but not so much!) We perfected the “Morning Ballet” at travel races…We don’t speak we just get ourselves together walking around the hotel room pinning our bibs and lacing up our shoes until it’s time to go.
We carb loaded at our favorite restaurants, overspent at stores like Athleta and became friends. Even though there is a lot about us that is different; she’s married and I’m single, I’m 12 years older (but about 3 years less mature)…we found a common ground and built a friendship around this shared passion.
In January 2012 we bought second-hand bibs for Tinkerbell. Ditto came in 29th in her age group… the age on her bib was 52 but whatever! After this race we somehow came up with the idea that we’d each do 10 half marathons in 2012. We signed up for most of the races together but each did 2 without the other one. However, it never occurred to either of us to do more than the other. People would ask us if we were doing specific races and we’d say, “Nope, Ditto can’t do it, so I’m out.” In March of this year we celebrated our “Runniversary” by running the first race we ever did for the second time.
Mardi Gras Madness 5K 2011 and 2012
In October of this year, we received the coveted Nike Women’s Half Marathon Tiffany necklace together.
Two months ago we both signed up to run our first full marathon in March of 2013. I couldn’t be more proud, excited and terrified to be embarking in this journey with my friend and running buddy…even if I will be a few steps behind her ;)
This weekend, Ditto and I will hit another milestone: 10 Half Marathons in a year. Last year, the Rock N Roll in Las Vegas was our first and we’ll be there again Sunday night pounding the pavement.
Running has given me so much. It’s given me confidence, health and inspiration but of all the things running has given me in the past two years, the thing I’m most thankful for is my friend Heather.
There have been PRs and injuries, great races and crappy runs and one (or two) too many cups of frozen yogurt and glasses of wine in the past two years and I can’t imagine sharing it with anyone else.
This weekend (and next because we’re cuckoo!) Team Ditto strikes again!
Happy Runniversary Friend!