A week without my running partner
Being that this is a blog about a vegetarian couple who run I thought it would be a good idea to do a post about what happens when one part of that couple is left without the other. Katie was in Colorado visiting friends, and I stayed behind with our dog Arlo. I think that the one thing I noticed over these last few days is how much I miss have a running partner. Now, it is not like we always ran together—often Katie is at work and I run in the mornings, and we often run separately when we race. So often it was just the idea that she could run with me; or that we could talk while stretching or driving to a race; or that I could look behind me a see her there.
I searched out the trails around Normanskill in Delmar, stumbling through mud and struggling up hills and eventually finding my way onto a golf course which, lets be honest, was a bit strange (especially when I ran across the path of two golfs teeing off).
Next I retraced our steps at the Pinebush Preserve to see how long one of the trails (Yellow) was since we had turned around on it. As I pushed beyond where we stopped I stumbled on a rather tricky water crossing that required some fancy footwork to get across a make-shift bridge. Both of these runs were fun, with some beautiful views of various habitats and wildlife—but they felt markedly different somehow.
But I really began to realize just what I was missing when I ran the Rabbit Ramble 4 miler in Guilderland. Granted, it was a cold, rather miserable start to the morning with a strong wind and rain pelting me before, during, and after the run. But I just know that I would have felt different, maybe even run differently, if Katie had run with me. It is hard to explain exactly what was different and what was missing (and perhaps runners who are single will puzzle over these claims). But I take for granted that connection one can have with another person, and in this case another runner—having someone to share your trials and joys with is an unquantifiable privaledge.
I am sure Katie would point to all of the trials that she has continually suffered since beginning her running journey, but I am impressed with and proud of the perseverance, dedication, and courage she has shown. Being a first year teacher who puts in longer hours than most while trying to make time for something you really love is not easy; so the other facet of this is that while she is there for me I can be there for her. The joy of a running partner (whoever it may be) is the mutual benefit and joy, not mention utility that comes from having another person to travel along with.
So, going almost a week without my partner was strange. It has allowed me to realize not only how much a running partner means to me, but also just how much a partner means to me. I am looking forward to the rest of our year of races; but also to beyond that towards the rest of our journey together as a couple.