Do you remember “the one” in high school? You know – the one that you and your best friend both adored. You both thought about him all of the time; you both dressed for him; you tried to get his attention. And, heaven forbid, if one of you got closer, the other was insanely jealous.
For the past week, I have felt like I am back in high school. My best running friend, Delilah (pictured with Little Ironman and me) had the race of her life. At the Ontario Masters Meet, she ran an impressive 5:52 1500 metre race, an amazing time for a newbie on the track. Me? I didn’t run as my long runs are becoming more and more important in my marathon training. But I text-cheered for Delilah as she ran and, when I heard her time, I was thrilled for her (as well as insanely jealous).
The two of us are completely in-tuned with each other’s running life. Our training is similar and our times are comparable (at our last 5K race, she beat me by 4/5ths of a second). We go through the same emotions before, during and after a race. We fret about what to eat. We wear the same clothing summer, spring, winter and fall (okay, Delilah guides me here). Hell, we probably go through our cycles at the same time.
But our lives are so different. Seventeen years younger, Delilah is about to enter prime running years for women while I am about to leave them. And, yes, I am sad about that too.
Going into the Chilly Half-Marathon on Sunday morning is an emotional battle for me. I’ve done the training and I feel strong. But as I’m watching my best running friend catch up to me, I worry that I’m losing my mojo or that a new breed of younger and faster runners is coming onto the scene and I simply can’t keep up. Or can I?
On Sunday morning, my goal is to run strong (and that won’t be easy, given the predicted weather conditions). And, I’m hoping to match or beat my previous half-marathon time. But most importantly, I’m hoping to finish ahead of Delilah.
Sorry, D., but friendship only goes so far:)