I have had the luxury of great running partners that have circled in and out of my life over my 4 decades of racing. I try and keep in touch as much as feasibly possible but I know (and hope they know) what an indelible mark they have inked in my soul.
Everyone has that one friend that is up for ANYTHING. Dena is one of those friends that said, "Let's do a 24 hour race" and BOOM we did it for the next 7 years in a row. Several years we went step for step for at least the first 50 miles and some years we were just there breathing the same air. Dena is one of those women who I strive to imitate; assertive, confident and driven.
Dena has been dabbling in the triathlon world so our weekend long run has been disrupted but I know if I truly needed her she would be there in a heartbeat. Dena is moving to Atlanta (whelp) and I am SUPER excited for her, and SUPER sad for me. Yes we will still stay in touch (I am currently teaching her that cell phones are actually a phone and not a texting machine) but running together will be few and far between.
When she first told me she got the job I was ecstatic and then she told me she might be moving the weekend of our infamous 24 hour Crooked Road (best 24 hour race out there. Period. You cannot convince me otherwise. Ever) ultra I was crestfallen. Yes I just typed that word: crestfallen. This was OUR race. This was OUR time to completely catch up in life. Who am I going to talk to for 24 hours? Okay: I talk to EVERYONE all day and night in that race so maybe that part will not change.
If you see me during the race or on Facebook on November 18-November 19th, send me a little love. I will need it.
One more thing you might not know about Dena and me, we have run together every Christmas morning since 2012 (or is it 2013). We wake up early and my family does not. We run in the crisp early morning air with virtually no one outside. We run the number of miles in the upcoming year. This year would be have 18 miles for 2018. I will probably return to me running solo to the cemetery a couple of miles away from our home wishing all the headstones a very Merry Christmas. I do this every Thanksgiving also because my Mom has been buried in Maryland since 1992 and I have not visited her since then because I live so far away. Hopefully she knows I am thinking of her.
Footnote: This is what happens when I write- I sit on it too long and forget to post.Thank you, Sheri, for the reminders!