The older I get the more I realize how important it is to have girlfriends. I don’t have a ton, but the ones I have are amazing. Racing has made some of these friendships grow and it has given me the opportunity to make some new friends.
When I was pregnant with Pnut I registered for the IronGirl Sprint Triathlon. I thought training would help me lose the baby weight. I convinced my sister, Kelly, to do it with me. This would be her first triathlon. She reluctantly agreed. I had no clue how exhausted I would be with a newborn. I never made it to the gym. One day I took her out, in the jogging stroller, and ran around the neighborhood. It was ugly. I knew I couldn't do the race. I felt horrible, but I called Kelly and told her I couldn’t do it. I’m certain she cursed me after she hung up the phone, but she said she understood. Kelly did the IG by herself. Pnut and I cheered her on. I was so proud of her. This was Kelly’s start.
My start (or restart) came a couple years later. I give credit (or blame) to Kim. I’m laughing as I write this because every early morning race start or freezing cold training run/ride Kim would ask “Whose dumb idea was this?” Looking back, it was Kim’s idea.
Three years ago Kim said something about running the Baltimore Half Marathon. I said sure. Didn’t really think we were going to do it. A week or so later I went to her house and we ran. I’m going to call it running. Looking back, it was a painful jog/trot around the lake. I think it was 2 miles. Not that we ran the whole way. A few months later Kim and I had each hit rough patches in our lives. We turned to each other and running. We actually signed up for the race and began training.
As luck would have it, Kelly decided to do the half too. And her Spin instructor Marcie, and Kim’s friend Susan. It was so much fun. Kelly, Kim and I ran together for a while. I only saw Marcie and Susan at the start and the finish. They are WAY faster than I am. One day I hope to be able to keep up. I eventually slowed down and Kim and Kelly kept going. We all met at the finish line. It was great. (I have a picture of all of us at the finish line but I can't get it to download.)
A couple years after that Kelly, Marcie and I did the Baltimore 10-miler. One of my all-time favorite races.
In 2010 Kim, Kelly and I decided to do the IG (the race Kelly had to do alone in 2007). This was Kim’s first tri. She was awesome!
A few months after IG, Kim, Tress and I did the Half Full as a relay. This was my first tri relay. I did the swim. My friend Amy swam on a relay with Kim’s husband. She crushed me. We swam together in college and I was always faster back then. I’m still a little bitter about it :)
I met my friend Lori at a party. We struck up a conversation because she asked about my Baltimore 10-miler shirt. That's right, I had on a race shirt at a party. I'm not the most fashionable girl. We started talking about the race and before you know it, we were running together. Our first race was a Turkey Trot. It was freezing and raining. The best part of it was sitting in Lori's car with our Starbucks. From there, we registered for a half marathon and trained together every weekend. Race day was chilly and wet. (seems to be a theme) It was awesome. I wish I had a picture. My only Lori pictures are from Brian's (my husband) birthday party. It would be wrong for me to post a picture of her with a fake mustache and giant Elton John glasses.
Lori gave me a copy of Mile Markers by Kristin Armstrong. If you haven't read it you should. What I loved most about it was Kristin's bond with her girlfriends. I would tell Lori how I wished I had a group like that to run with. Looking back, I did. We never all ran together and we weren't able to met as often as I would have liked. But I did have a group of girls that I could count on to push me, and swim/bike/run with me, and love me and cheer me on. I gave my copy to Kim who I believe passed it on to Karen. If not, she got Karen a copy. Karen and I never got to race together but I still consider her one of my girls. I hope the book continues to be passed around.
This is my shout out to my girlfriends. You are an amazing group of women. I am lucky to have been able to swim/bike/run with each of you. You have inspired me in ways you probably don't even realize. I love and miss you all!