Remember when Bekah, my perky running partner, set a goal to run 12 races in 12 months, but then got snowed out of the December Jingle Bells Run a few weeks ago? And then tried not to panic, because she’s a goal setter and an achiever and omg what happens if she didn’t actually get to run her December race? Well, have no fear, dear friends. The race was rescheduled, and she did it! And she made me come with her and just do it, too.
As you may recall, I’m not a huge racer, mainly because I’m not competitive, even with myself, and I’m too lazy (which is another word for scared) to make commitments I may or may not want to keep. But I appreciate the time, effort, and goodwill of the people who put on the races, and the runners who run them. Races are fun, once I get there. Everyone’s energy is high, there’s music, fun, food…it’s an outdoor running party, really.
So, it seems like Bekah wouldn’t have to twist my arm so much to race with her. But she does. And quite honestly, I would have said no to the Jingle Bells Run last weekend, especially since I happened to be whooping it up the night before at Bekah’s birthday party, where cake and “good cheer” were flowing enough to encourage normal people to sleep it off the next day.
But she asked me to come with her, because this was actually a big deal to her, and I said yes. Yes, of course I will. Because friends don’t let friends reach big goals and do Jingle Bells Runs alone.
So we got there. And we put our jingle bells on:
And it was freezing, so we danced a bit:
and BAM! The race was on.
Now, as I’ve said before, Bekah is 10 years younger and a heck of a lot faster than me. And in much better shape, frankly, because she is not lazy. Which is a nice way of saying I hadn’t run in about 10 days and I got a shin splint or two and had to walk a few times. But, in my defense, we did have a full week of snowy icy weather, which really messed with my “trainning.”
But anyway, despite all that, and me reminding her that this was her race, even though she was the one encouraging ME the entire time, she refused all my suggestions that she go on ahead and end her racing year with a PR or whatever. “This race is about crossing the finish line with my friend,” she said. Which was so sweet that I had to keep running.
And guess what? We finished! And…(drumroll please)
We WON our age groups! A first for me. I quickly calculated that I was probably the only 48 year old woman running that day, but Bekah just as quickly told me to hush up, who cares, even if it were true, I was the fastest 48 year old woman who showed up that day and that meant something, dammit, and I’d be in the history book of Eugene, OR Jingle Bells Run 2013 forever, so there.
Which is true.
And I got a medal!
Okay, we all got a medal. But.that.doesn’t.make.it.any.less.awesome!
And then Bekah got a little misty eyed because she was so happy that she accomplished her goal for the year, and that her friend was there to share it with her, and in that moment I remembered why I really run: because I can, and I get to do it with this wonderful, amazing friend I met through this silly little running club I made up, and because it makes me happy.
So here’s to a grand 2013. We made it through another year, healthy, happy and lucky to be here.
And good job, Bekah! I love you, and I’m so damn proud to be your friend!