Thursday, August 9, 2012

Runs with Jane

My good friend and fellow runner, Jane, is the kind of friend most runners just dream of finding---dependable, knowledgeable, determined, and driven.  I first met Jane through her blog, See Jane Run, and I felt an immediate connection to her.  Not only did we live in the same city, but she and I were both trying to run a marathon in every state.  I thought, "This girl sounds like someone I'd like to get to know!"  And, though I never do this kind of thing, I actually contacted her to ask if I could run with her group sometime. I secretly hoped she wouldn't think I was a weird stalker or something like that.  In all honesty, I was just a fairly new mom who was looking for buddies to run with since my old training partner (my husband) was now my babysitter during my runs.  I needed to find a new training partner, and I did just that when I met Jane in person almost three years ago for our first run together.  I arrived nervous and sleepy-tired (I was not accustomed to those early 5:00 a.m. start times!).  It was the beginning of a great friendship between us, something that has deepened over those early morning runs.  Two in particular stand out to me and will show you the type of friend Jane really is.

Rainbow Mountain Run November 6, 2011
This run was an unexpected and fun adventure!  I had a "girls' weekend" at my house, meaning my husband and son were out of town for the weekend, and it was just me and my four year old daughter at home.  On Sunday afternoon, I decided to head out for a run with my daughter in the single jogger.  The weather was perfect.  Jane lives a short distance from my house in a neighboring subdivision.  Sometimes we text each other before heading out for an afternoon run to see if the other wants to meet up.  So I sent Jane a text, "I'll be heading past your house in 15 minutes.  Want to join me?"  Her response was something like, "Yes, I was planning to run up Rainbow Mountain for 10 miles.  How does that sound?"  And I texted back that I had my daughter with me so it would be interesting with her in tow.  Rainbow Mountain is--you guessed it--a mountain with a HUGE hill that the group calls "The Dragon."  It's a brutal hill...not something I was planning to do that day, but I felt up to the challenge.  All in all, I estimated that this would be a 14 mile run for me, since I was not running directly to Jane's house and was doing another route first.  I must stop to say here that I am not one to involve my children in my long runs.  I just don't think keeping them in the strollers for hours on end is the right thing to do.  But this was one run with special circumstances.  The weather was nice, my daughter was completely comfortable (ate snacks and took a nap), and sometimes you just have to take advantage of an opportunity when it presents itself.  So I did.

Jane and I had the best time on that run.  I did have to walk up "The Dragon" (no way I could push the stroller up it), and it was hard to break the stroller enough on the downhill.  It's been months since this run happened, so I don't remember what we talked about that day.  I just remember the feeling of freedom and happiness and peacefulness that comes from a great run like this.

I felt so happy, I had to snap a picture to remember the day.

Perfect day for a stroller run

When my daughter awoke from her nap, we were heading down the mountain.  I marveled at how a person could just sleep so peacefully like that, how it showed how much she trusted me to bring her back home safely.  I loved bringing her on that run.

Jane and I emailed later about our run (we actually had some pretty good splits that Jane wanted to share).

I wrote, "Awesome, awesome run.  One to remember.  I will look back one day and wish I had a little one to push...."
And she shared the splits below:

Mile 1 - 8:36
Mile 2 - 8:37
Mile 3 - 8:37
Mile 4 - 9:51
Mile 5 - 10:01
Mile 6 - 8:48
Mile 7 - 8:58
Mile 8 - 8:39
Mile 9 - 8:26
Mile 10 - 8:34

Then she wrote, "That is AWESOME - especially considering the dragon was in the middle!  Thanks for a GREAT afternoon run, my friend!  And C was the perfect running buddy as well."  

So thankful for Jane on that run.  

Rainy Run November 28, 2011
WHO meets for 12 miles at 4:40 a.m. in the pouring rain???  A friend like Jane does.  Who better to tell the story of this run than Jane herself.  The link to the whole story is on her blog here.

Jane writes, "I e-mailed my running crew about a morning run, but the weather did not look promising.  The forecast predicted 100% chance of rain for 5am Monday morning and I groaned in annoyance.  I don't get off work until 5pm and by then it is dark.  I'm not a big treadmill fan, but I will run on one if there are no other options.  I was trying to make a plan for the next day when I picked up my phone and noticed a text from Katie.  She wanted to know if I would run even if it was raining.  She wanted 12 miles and she wanted to start at 4:40am.  I said yes.  She probably knew I would, and that was the jolt I needed. 

There was a light but steady rain when I pulled up to our meeting place this morning.  Katie was already there and as I parked we shared a glance that said, "Are we really doing this?"  At least that's what I was thinking.  As soon as we got out of our cars, we started running.

It really was not so bad and we had a good time.  The rain came and went as we ran and chatted.  The miles seemed to go by quickly as they always do when I run with Katie.  We finished our 12 miles and we were both so glad to have gotten out there and done it.  It is hard for both of us to run any other time of the day, so even with the rain we knew this was our best shot.  Even being wet, I was warm and comfortable until I stopped running and then the cold set in quickly.  

We said a quick good-bye, still smiling after our rainy morning run.  I cranked up the heat in my car and rushed home to a hot shower and coffee.  As I drove to work I thought about the morning run and how I probably would not have gotten out there alone in the dark rain without Katie.  Sometimes, if you really want the miles, you have to get a little crazy to get them and I am so glad I have a running friend who will start at crazy early hours, run in crazy weather and help me get in those miles."

Jane has met me for spontaneous Sunday afternoon runs and has run patiently alongside me with my stroller in tow.  She's agreed to meet me when I text her about running in the rain.  She is one of the most dependable and determined people I know.

Jane is a new mom, ready to begin her own journey of marathoning and mothering.  And, if her dedication to her friends and to the sport she loves so much is any indication, I know she will do just fine.


  1. Has it really been 3 years? Wow! That seems like a long time, but it also seems like I've always been running with you! I am honored by this post and also honored that you think I will do a good job in my new "mothering" role. That really means a lot.

  2. Hey...I tagged you a can do it or not, you choose ;-)

  3. Gracie, Thanks...I think!!! :) I like that your description of me. I will try to do it. Looks like a fun thing. Starting back at the preschool this week, so free time is limited. Maybe next week I will do it or this weekend. Thanks for including me!