Two running working mothers. One marathon: 24 February 2008.
Training begins NOW.
Every Friday afternoon, Annie and I exchange the routinary SMS message: “Run tomorrow? Same time, same place?” And, almost always, the other will send a customary reply of “Yes. See ya!”
For the past six months, Annie and I have been enjoying our Saturday runs together. Saturday mornings is reserved exclusively for our long runs; it is the time where we can run without distractions from work or family. Children have no school nor homework. And, at least for me, the hubby is out longer than I am playing golf.
– Training in Alabang with Annie and Coach B (June 2007) –
Ours is a friendship built on running. I met Annie after I invited an acquaintance to join Coach B’s running clinic; that friend took Annie along. When the running clinic ended, it was only Annie and I who found ourselves committed to continue training on our own.
Annie, a mother of two girls, is a Fitness First and stotts pilates instructor. Between the two of us, she is by far the stronger, faster, and more experienced runner. She has been running for over three years and has joined more races than I can count. During our runs, we can talk about a wide range of topics ranging from motherhood to shopping, but our discussion will always, always go back to running. It is what binds us together.
– Adidas KOTR with Annie and her friend (July 2007) –
So, it came as no surprise that when I told Annie about my plans of joining the Pasig Marathon, she instantly decided to join too. When we got over our initial excitement (which lasted for over five minutes), we informally discussed our strategy. She suggested using Hal Higdon’s marathon program while I recommended Jeff Galloway’s (She won here. I’m now using Higdon’s Novice II program while she’s using Intermediate I). We also agreed, quite happily, that we would transform our 10 to 15k Saturday runs into our once-a-week long runs. “Annie,” I begged her, “we seriously have to slow down from now on” because, as I’ve experienced many a times, Annie does not know the meaning of slow or tired. “Yes,” she adds, “we also have to force ourselves to take walking breaks now” something we always fought against in the past.
As I write this, I am building a mental checklist of other things I must discuss with Annie as we try to add more science and strategy to our runs. These have something to do with 1) starting earlier so the sun doesn’t beat down on us, 2) stock piling on power gels since water won’t do for us anymore, and 3) planning the races we intend to join so that they can work seamlessly with our program.
Suddenly, my personal goal has turned into a dream I can share with a friend. While running a marathon is still an individual conquest, I take comfort in knowing that I can share the same hardships and triumphs, pains and joys, and hills and troughs with someone who doesn’t need to stop and ask me “Why must you put yourself through this?” She just gets it. And, should the time come during the marathon that my legs turn to lead and I want to give up at 30 km, I know that Annie will be there pushing and urging me to move forward…just as I will do for her.
Good luck to us Annie!