I first saw the term Best Runner Friend (BRF) in the book, Train Like a Mother, by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea. It is a term I have come to understand and use fondly for someone.
I started out running alone and it was, well, lonely! I didn’t mind it too much at first. It was a chance to be alone with my thoughts and, although I love my 3 children more than anything, it was time just for me! I would head out when the hubby was home to hold down the fort for 2, 3, 4 miles.
Then, it started getting a bit colder, harder to get myself out there, and lonelier. I would run on the local trail and see people running together. I had read about running clubs here and there…it was time to seek one out!
One night, I looked up local running clubs and came upon Southern Ocean Ladies Running Club. Women, mothers, different levels and paces, all coming together for the love of the run…perfect! I then tracked them down on Facebook and joined in on a group run – a run that occurred right after Superstorm Sandy. The ladies were collecting items for the victims and then going on a run to “replace” Beauty and the Beach, a race that had to be cancelled due to the storm. All of these women amaze me, inspire me, encourage me and I have come to appreciate the camaraderie of so many of them! I met who would eventually become my BRF on this particular group run…and who has become more than that since!
Eventually, Jenna and I started training for our first half marathon. It’s hard not to get close to someone you’re meeting early in the morning when it’s 11 degrees, still dark, raining, snowing and you’re running together 3-4 times a week! When you’re running mile after mile, it’s hard not to talk about your families, friends, other interests, your aches and pains, or the fact you have to pee! It’s hard not to laugh hysterically when the wind is gusting at you and you feel like you’re moving backwards instead of forward or your BRF’s watch beeps at mile 11 before yours so you finish up and then you can barely walk towards each other due to leg muscles not cooperating and laughing so hard. When you’ve been running together for a month and a half, it’s hard not to celebrate your first double-digit long-run together! When you’ve been through all of this and more, it’s hard not to consider your BRF to be more than that to each other!
Jenna pushes my limits. She takes me out of my comfort zone. She crosses every finish line before me and I couldn’t be happier to cheer behind her or to see her smiling face when I cross that finish line right behind her and we celebrate the awesome job we’ve done!