Hug Your Friends this Thanksgiving!

Mel Ortiz, Angie Gerber, Marie Krasnow and Joe Graziano- meeting for a friendly 13.1 miles

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love the food, the time with family and friends and I especially love the focus on gratitude.  There’s always so much to be grateful for, a bad run still is better than no run at all and a packed schedule just means I’m living a full life. It all depends on my attitude. Obviously, I’m grateful my legs keep me going and I’m very thankful for a family that supports my running habit, but this year I’m especially grateful for the people that I’ve met and friends I’ve made through running. It has brought some exceptional people into my life and helped develop some of my best friends.

The two Teresa’s, seemingly running on some other planet where jeggings and tie-dye hats are appropriate running attire.

I have running buddies who go way back. They’ve brought me meals after surgeries, given me pep talks exactly when I needed them, provided hours of pavement ‘therapy’ and have made me lace up when I lacked the motivation. When my grandfather died, the last thing I wanted to do was run, even though it’s exactly what I needed. Fortunately, I have friends who know me well and made me get back out there and run. I love that years can pass, but we can still meet up for a run and pick up where we left off. I’m grateful that running bonds help me stay connected with friends.

I appreciate the friends I’ve met while preparing for races. A long run is the perfect way to REALLY get to know someone. You have experiences that non-runners just can’t relate to, blisters, chafing and bonking, to name a few. I cherish the memories and love to laugh about it when we get together. The times I’ve puked, the times I’ve been chased by dogs and the times they’ve saved me from getting hit by a car are all on my list and, while not funny at the time, make me laugh now.

Always fun to catch up with old running friends. Dave and Teresa Nase at the Newport Marathon.

I’m also thankful for the people I’ve ‘met’ on the Run Oregon blog. We’re an eclectic group, with varying speeds and a wide range of distances, but each one has taught me something. Most importantly, they make me laugh, pretty much every day. On top of it, they keep me up to date with the running stuff going on around town and help keep my shoes hitting the pavement. They even have me considering trails. With The Reindeer Run in a couple of weeks I know Matt is going to give me a little friendly competition, which I love. They make me laugh and help keep me motivated, this group of Run Oregon friends definitely adds to my life.

My favorite blogger: Joe Dudman at the Gorgeous Relay.

I didn’t start running to make friends, I just wanted some exercise and running was convenient. Little did I know that it would include so much more than a workout. This Thanksgiving I’m grateful for the friendships that running has given me, with the people I’ve met through running and the friend I’ve bonded with through the miles. Whether it’s cramming into a relay van, passing the miles with my running girls or chatting with a total strange along a course, running brings people together.  I’m super excited for the friends to come. You can never have too many running buddies.