Do runners understand each other? You bet!
g of so many things. A shared moment. And every time I see someone running towards me I want to smile. I want to say “how awesome are we right now for being out here and running?!”. I don’t know their story. I don’t know what race they are training for. I don’t know if they’re just running for fun. I don’t know how many years they’ve been running for. I don’t know if they have been out there for 10 minutes or 2 hours. And they don’t know any of these things about me.
But when a fellow runner looks up and smiles it can mean the world. It can mean the difference between me stopping running because “I feel exhausted” and finding the mental strength to keep going despite what my legs are telling me. It can be the difference between me getting down on myself for not running as fast as I want to and feeling on top of the world because I am a runner, we are runners and we’re all out there.
Do you smile? A lot of my fellow runners smile. Perhaps more than ever before. And maybe that’s why my running feels so good. Because when you’re out there pounding the pavement alone, it’s nice to know that someone else is out there and for that brief exchange, they’re with you. I know this because at the Nike Women's Half Marathon in Washington, DC in April I had this experience.
Around mile five, we had to cross a bridge over the Potomac River into Arlington, Virginia. The women runners (and some men who were part of Team in Training; this was a women's only race) were doing high fives all the way across the bridge. As we were crossing over, the runners coming back were encouraging us with high fives, words of encouragement and it was such a tremendous feeling to know that you weren't along in your quest to finish! I wished that I had taken a picture of this because it was one of the most tremendous experiences I've ever had as a runner. However, I was trying to PR for the race since it was my third half marathon. My first was part of Team Challenge in Las Vegas in December 2012 and I was hurt and my second was the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February 2013 and I had pneumonia. (Yes, I was crazy while running and finishing that half!). So, I really wanted to have a great time since it was my first half marathon being healthy so few pictures. I did manage to PR but did stop for a picture in front of our Capitol!
So remember to smile, high five, give a word of encouragement because you'll as a runner you understand!