Yesterday I posted about the idea of runners paying it forward to the running community, and who has paid it forward to me and inspired my own running.

So today I want to turn it around, and talk about the ways I have paid it forward to the running community! This might get awkward … I don’t really like bragging. Bear with me.

Genevieve: My BFF. Matron of Honor at my wedding. We’ve known each other since we were wee little kids in Sunday school, and I think officially reached BFF status during a “lock-in” in junior high. Anyway. Years ago, when I was “training” for my first half marathon, I unknowingly inspired Gen to start running. She’s had some “hiatuses” along the way (haven’t we all … she gets a pass though, she has two kids and works full time AND part time). But, she kept getting back out there. Last winter, I paced her to a 5K PR, which felt so awesome! And then in June, I was there for her first half marathon. I also introduced her to our running club.

Melissa: Not my sister-in-law, but a different Melissa who I’ve known since high school. Anyway, this came as a total shock to me, but last year she told me she was doing a couch-to-5K program. I was so happy! Someone else I know is taking up running!!! She completed the program, completed the 5K, and publicly admitted to her love of running! Yay! But then she found out she was pregnant with baby #3, and per her doctor’s advice and/or listening to her body, she took a break from running. Baby #3 was born healthy earlier this year, and Melissa just finished her second 5K last weekend! She told me that if I can run a marathon, she can at least run a 5K 🙂

The picture on the right is sister-in-law Melissa, runner Melissa and me at runner Melissa’s bachelorette party in 2003. That was Mr. Stud’s debut … 9 years later, he still makes it to bachelorette parties! That’s a pretty long life span for a blow-up doll. 

Sarah & Dave WeddingSarah: We met in college, and she recently moved with her family (husband and two kids) to be closer to her family in the Detroit area. Little did I know, she took up running, and has made it up to 8 miles! Whoa! That’s awesome. She has also had some starts and stops (she works full-time in addition to raising two amazing children), but she keeps getting out there, which is awesome, and I try to be as virtually supportive as I can. I keep encouraging her to sign up for a 10K or half marathon. I just may have to make a trip out to Detroit and do a race with her.

Chi Town Half MarathonAli: We also met in college, but she moved downstate after graduating (and recently out-of-state). I knew she ran, and last spring posted that she was doing the Chi-Town Half. I was debating doing that race, so when I saw she was doing it, that made up my mind, and I signed up. It turned out that was going to be her first half marathon, so I ran with her. It felt great to help her cross the finish line.

 

Who have you encouraged in the running community? You probably don’t even know it, but you’re encouraging someone. I’ve had other friends tell me that my running posts and photos on Facebook have inspired them to start running (or sparked a desire in them to want to run). Maybe because up until a few years ago, I was never a runner. So if I can go from non-runner to marathoner (and, um, lose 30 pounds), maybe other normal people can run too. And their comments that I’ve inspired them totally out-weigh all the “your running posts make me feel lazy” comments from other friends!