Thursday, December 18, 2008

My running friend

This post has nothing to do with parrots, but instead it's about running, and about this amazing couple that I've come to know.

One of the things I like best about running is the social aspect of it. I imagine those of you who don't run are thinking, "Are you crazy? Talking while you're running?" But yes! Of course, we're not going all-out at the time, but keeping up a pace that allows for conversation. I'm lucky to live in a city that has a great and active running club, and I've made many friends this way.

Every Sunday, I meet up with a group, go for an 8-mile run, and often go out for breakfast afterward. The people in this group range greatly in speed, and splinter groups form for the actual run.

One of these friends, I'll call him P, is very inspiring. P is 85 years old. He just ran his 100th marathon a few months ago (and he doesn't count any of his ultra marathons in this total!) He didn't even start running until he was in his 60s and his company needed an over-50 runner for an event they were entering.

P is married to a wonderful woman, M. Although she does not run, M takes a long walk every single day. She was just telling me about a recent walk she took in sub-zero weather with snow up to her knees! And she's in her 80s also -- they just celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary. There is such love between them that they brighten every place they go.

These guys are great. I told them last night that they didn't get a Christmas card from me since I didn't have their address and I couldn't find it in the phonebook (I had the wrong city). P said, "Just google me!" and proceeded to spell his last name. How many 85 year-olds know about google? (Their card was sent out this morning.)

They are such an inspiration for what I hope to be as I age. They are active, intelligent, friendly, and witty. On those cold days when I want to sleep in instead of run, I remind myself that P is running today. I certainly can't wimp out! And since I want to still be running when I'm 85 (although possibly not marathons), I need to take care of myself now. I am so lucky to know them!

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