At some point on everyone’s fitness and health journey, they need a little support. Some people need support to get started, some might need as they work to make fitness a habit, other might need support as they recover from illness or injury or to break through barriers they think are insurmountable.
I’m lucky to have a great group of running friends surrounding me. We constantly lean on each other to get us through. Sure, we all end up doing solo workouts, but we have created a Facebook group just for those of us that are working on the 30 day challenges and we give each other constant support that way. In addition, several of us are working on a running streak, so I’ve had friends by side for 2 runs already this week. However, I want to spend a little time talking about why yesterday’s was truly special.
Several months ago, one of our friends was diagnosed with multiple binary pulmonary emboli. Yes, blood clots around her lungs, not only around her lungs, but she had clots in her legs as well. Unfortunately for her, her struggle to breathe when running was first misdiagnosed as asthma. Fortunately, the misdiagnosis was caught after the asthma medications failed to improve her condition. After months of only being allowed to walk, she was cleared to begin running again about a month ago. And run, she has! She has been out with us for every long run since then and is working to rebuild her running base.
Then, she hit a mental block. She just couldn’t seem to get over that 2 mile barrier without walking. She voiced this concern on our Facebook group. Immediately, two of my friends jumped on it and said, “We’ve got you.” Since several of us were already planning to meet up at my house to run last night, we had our friend who was struggling meet up with us.
We left the house at a nice steady and slow pace. I was planning to stick with my intervals and let them go ahead, but as my watch beeped, I decided to stick with them for a bit to see how far I could make it before I needed to walk. I knew I could make it a mile, because I’ve been doing that every day for the last 19 days. However, I was sure I would tank by 1.5 miles. As we ran along the trail in my neighborhood, our two support friends stayed behind us to let us dictate the pace. When we started to push, they reminded us to slow down but to keep going. By about 1.5 miles, I felt tired, but not like I needed to stop. We hit a hill at 1.65, we trudged up the hill and I realized that there was no way I wasn’t going to run the next 0.3 of that mile. My friend stuck with me. When we reached the 2 mile mark, our support friends cheered for us and we had a little mini celebration. It was great! We walked a few minutes to recover and then all broke up a little bit to finish the rest of our run.
When we got back to the house, I realized that it has been over a year since I have run that far in one go. It’s a small accomplishment to some, but with all of the struggles I have had with my asthma and allergies, yesterday was a huge day for me. I never would have managed to do it without such wonderful women supporting me!
(I feel like I should also mention the awesome support I get from my husband, but I think that might be a blog post for another day.)