For today’s Friday Five with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy, I want to talk about some of the best things about having running friends…or frents as I call some of them. Ever since I started running, I’ve met and become involved with several different people, but a few of them have become closer to me than others. Some groups I’m in are “friends in my phone” but they’ve also become a huge part of my running life, offering training and life advice as well as celebrating each other’s victories and comforting each other when we miss a much coveted PR or have a bad training run. It helps to know others are there cheering you on in your good moments and standing by you when you have a bad moment and just need someone to understand.
1. My first BRF who’s always supportive and down for long runs together…
When I first met Krystal, I wasn’t sure what our relationship would end up being, but when I started running we got closer. As the years passed and we ran more long runs together and had more conversations and the miles grew, we morphed from ‘friends’ into each others BRF or Best Running Friends. We’ve had many a long conversation at 6am or earlier when no one else is awake and have run in many scenic locations together. Despite the fact that we originally lived an hour away from each other, we still found time to visit each other and go on runs in each others’ cities. I don’t know how many miles we’ve logged together, but I know Krystal is one of my most supportive running friends and I’m very glad to call her my BRF.
2. The Sub-30 Club or the “friends in my phone.”
I first joined this club because I was trying to break a 30 minute 5k and heard about it in Runner’s World magazine. Then I started to get to know this amazing group of 5,000+ runners and began to get training advice and tips from them and to share my advice and tips as well. For a few years (2015 I believe) I’ve had these “friends in my phone” that I didn’t know in person (or at least not a lot of them) and I shared my running joys and sorrows with them; they in turn shared theirs with me. Many do not understand how close you could possibly be to people you haven’t met in person, but we became a running “family” and hung out virtually, celebrating each other’s victories and posting pictures of our race medals for our friends to share. Finally in February I was able to meet a large group of them at the Gasparilla race, when a bunch of them came down to participate in one of the largest running festivals in south Florida. It really was an amazing experience and I enjoyed meeting every one of the people I’d had virtual conversations with. Spending the weekend with them was so fun and inspiring! I’ll never forget all the “Sub 30 Run Funsies” we had that weekend and I hope I get together with a group of them again soon!
3. My OCR “other half” and MUDRUNFUN!
I met Brian at our first Tough Mudder together in 2014. He got along fabulously with my boyfriend and I and that was the beginning of their “bromance” and our friendship. Since then, I’ve been introduced to many more members of MudRunFun, a Florida based OCR enthusiast group who travels all over the state (and out of state) to participate in various obstacle course races. I’ve had many fun times with this group and I always enjoy running with them and the shenanigans that happen while on course. While this year I took a break from mud runs for most of the year, I can’t wait to get back into it next year and start hanging out with this awesome group of crazies again!
4. The Running “Frents”
This group came from our Monday night fun runs at the store and I started hanging out with them more when I started doing Galloway training with Sean, who works with me. Running with them is always fun and entertaining and we’ve spent many miles discussing our love/hate relationship with running. It’s fun to see their victories and help them reach personal goals, as I hope they enjoy seeing me hit my personal goals too. This group means I always have people to hang out with at local races (as they do a lot of the local events too) and there’s no shortage of entertainment before or after runs. I miss this crew since I’ve moved and I look forward to running with them again tomorrow! As they say, “You may have friends in Tampa but your frents are in Sarasota.”
5. The Newbie Triathlon Dream Team
For most of the days leading up to my triathlon, I trained with Leslie and Jennifer who were doing the same triathlon as I was. It helped to have people to wake up with in the early mornings and people I knew at the pool when we went to swim. It was also very rewarding to finish our first triathlon (well, Jenn’s second, Leslie and my first) together! They’ve been supportive and caring women to train with and I definitely couldn’t have asked for better training buddies. I hope we get to train together soon again!
Running has brought all these amazing people into my life and I’m so glad to have had the chance to run with each and every one of them. Even though some of them I see less frequently than others, I value each of them as an integral part of my life and a good friend (or frent). I couldn’t be more blessed to know these amazing athletes!
Do you have groups of friends you run with?