To Allison and April, who first showed me that running for fun was a thing.
To Diana, who challenged me to try it for myself and gave me something to aim for.
To Jen and Katrina and Ana who acted like it was no big thang to keep their legs moving for hours at a time—and took it for granted that I would learn to do it too.
To Carrie, who put a marathon on my radar when it was the last thing I thought I could do.
To Shiloh and Valerie and Valerie and Heather and Elizabeth (and the menfolk, of course) for being my Ragnar team—where I learned, for real, that I could actually run.
To Abby, who inspired me with her determination to keep finish her first marathon, even when every part of her was saying, quite distinctly, “NO.”
To Becca, who is not ashamed to commiserate with me over the messy parts of running.
To Kathleen and Emily and Noelle, whose quick “Hi!” as we pass each other in the park often left me smiling for miles.
To Ashley, who keeps me running, even if it is only to see how many miles I can do in a month.
To Heather and Rachel, who took me in and cheered me on in Boston.
Ladies, if I had my druthers, every meeting between friends would include a run—a time and a place to move together, think together, to share a conversation or share the scenery in silence. It’s work, but it’s play, too. It knocks down walls and narrows your focus to what is right in front of you. It tunes you into the same wavelength and gives you an opportunity share laughter and tears without the awkwardness of eye contact. It can clear the air and cleanse your soul.
Wish we could meet up for a lap at Prospect Park tomorrow. But since we can’t, I’ll just say that I’m glad we’ve had a chance to share the road.