Disclaimer: Again, I'm a little behind on this post. It was originally supposed to go up on Saturday night and then on Sunday night. Creative juices and time management didn't start until Monday.
This is my friend, Lauren. She's pretty cool. Lauren loves history, her cats, the Philadelphia Phillies and running.
Lauren has been a huge guide on my running journey. She was the first person I ever met who had run more than, like, five miles. During the Fall of 2008, our friendship solidified over a mutal love of the Phillies, Lost and her lack of airplane making skills. Also, she ran a lot. I was still doing 4 and 5 miles in the local park after work with no training plan or knowledge. She was always there with advice and encouragement. Lauren's tales of 'races' and longs runs were a major factor in my New Years Resolution to conquer a Philadelphia Broad Street 10 Miler.
To be honest, I didn't even know that event existed until I met Lauren. I didn't know what a half marathon was or that running 1 mile burns one hundred calories.
She was running 10, 15, 20 miles on the weekends with Team in Training in preparation for the 2009 Disney Marathon.
A month before what was supposed to be the best weekend of her life, that she had trained and fundraised for, she woke up one morning with an unbearable pain in her hips. That pain was stress fracture in both hips. It was devastating. I remember getting an email from her and just feeling my stomach hit the floor. No marathon. No running. She could barely walk.
While Lauren was suffereing a major heartbreak, I was falling in love with running. I had begun my training for Broad Street and was constantly peppering her with "I RAN 6 MILES!" emails and questions like "Why do I not want junk food any more?" And even though she was in pain and upset, she answered and encouraged. It wasn't until she said I was ready to run it that I believed it I was. She rarely, rarely complained. You never knew how much agony, emotional and physical she was in. We still went to baseball games, watched Lost Season 5 and gossiped about coworkers.
With determination and patience, Lauren's hips eventually healed. And she was runnin' again.
Here she is at the 2009 Philadelphia Distance Run. This was my first half marathon and her second.