I love my running partner.

She has been there for me since Halloween 2007.  Our sons have been best friends since first grade.  We can read each other’s movements.  She always runs on the right, me on the left.  I know what brand of laundry detergent she uses.  I know her gait almost by heart, and I know when she’s having a rough morning.  She never has to use the restroom, but always stops with me at Mile 1.  Our runs are so routine,  I know exactly when she will cross a street.

But, there comes a time in every relationship, where you have to call a spade a spade, and you must simply break it off.  This is that time.

Kim and I were 34 and 48 when we started running.  Compared to now, I seemed almost spry.  (I’m 52 now) I could keep up with her.  She was content to run at a 10:30 pace with me.  I remember one time when I was on the ground, and she leaned over and said “That’s okay, you’re 14 years older than me”…and it was then that I realized that we were of different fitness levels due to our ages.

I have done 3 marathons.  I trained with each one of them with Kim by my side.  Last year, as I was training for Marine Corps Marathon, I convinced her to run the Fresno Eye-Q Marathon, because she was already trained.  My joy at seeing her at mile 26 was overwhelming, and I ran with her to the finish.  She finished at 4:50, the time we both wanted.  (I’m still trying to be sub 5:57!)

I was surprised when the LA Marathon folk offered me a bib, because of course old readers to this blog know that the two weeks after a marathon I always say “I will never do this again”.  We started training.  And because I know she is after a new goal, our regular training would not do.

I’m getting slower.  I will be very happy to finish strong in LA, focusing on “maybe” doing 5mph.  Kim, on the other hand is getting faster…

Several weeks ago, I called it.  We had to break up.  It would be the only way for her to sub 4:30.  Without me.  She begged.  “No.  I like us.”  I said, “I’m sorry, it’s for the best.  It’s not you.  It’s me.”  We called my coach, who gave us a plan to where she could go out, loop around, and come back for me.  It seemed to work.  For the last month, Kim and I…we didn’t completely break up.  We start together.  She’s still at my door at 5am.  We sometimes end together, but mostly when I get back to my house, her car is long gone.  She texts me at night to do my CORE.  We are still together, only different.  I cut her loose, and she is ready to shine in LA.  She has gotten so much stronger in the last month!

My greatest joy will be to see her meet her goal in LA, because she can do it.  And, I know she will see me cross as well…because when you’ve been together as long as we have, you simply must see it all the way to the end.

7 thoughts on “in which i broke up with my running partner. sorta.

  1. Your both lucky to have each other. What an awesome “relationship” you have with Kim and her with you!!! LA marathon is both of yours!!! Make it your bitch!!!! :O)

  2. It’s sad to see a relationship like the one u have change… And that’s it!! It’s changed you don’t have to breakup but your paths must be different so u can both achieve YOU!! ya no the reason everyone runs TO BEAT YOU!! you meaning “I, myself, me” not you Linda! You are a grand friend to do this and although this is hard it is what it is!!!! Love u

  3. Yeah, i hear that… big time. My wife is SOO much faster than me. We sometimes do ount-n-back runs together, so at least we start together, and she catches me on the way back, usually turns to go with me awhile, before doing a few loops around me. But then I think she feels bad for lap’ing me and just darts away. I tell her to just GO and not worry about me.. get as fast as she can be, that’s what I want for her. Runners are awesome. I’d run with you any day .. and would cheer you on as you lap me. =)

  4. That must be a hard conversation…you can still run together, just not as often. Take care and enjoy the weekend.

  5. It takes a very strong person to tell their running partner to go ahead!! And you are a strong woman!

    Everyone I run with is at least 10 years younger than I am-and I feel I hold them back as well. I have different goals than they do! At this moment in my life (with my crappy works schedule) I am happy to finish!! That is my goal-but my speedy speedster friends have time goals-well, so do I but I realize I have to radically change things in m,y life to reach some of my goals.

    I stopped running with my 3 girls friends this past month. They are all running LA as well, I am not. I felt like I was slowing them down! And it was depressing as hell! So I commend you for letting your running friend go!!

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