Running with a friend, like sharing a bed with your spouse, forces you to choose a side. Not as in who's right and who's wrong in some argument, but literally sides--which side should you run, or sleep, on? As with a sleep positions, run positions feel organic. There's no clear cut answer, but when it's set, it feel right, as if there's a groove you were supposed to fit in to. Like when I run with my pal Heidi: After stopping to pick up a stray dime, I caught up with her and ran on her left for a few steps. Without saying anything, we both suddenly dosey-doe'd to switch positions. It just felt "off" to not be on her right side. Yet with my pal Ellison, I usually run on her left side, so I'm thinking it's not a physical trait or hiccup in my gait that places me on one side or the other. Hmmm, I'm thinking some university researcher needs to investigate this mystery...
I know I'm not alone in my position: another mother runner Jennifer Lundstrum emailed us the above photo with this tale,
"This is a picture of my BRF’s van and my van. I didn’t notice until about a month after our half-marathon how we placed our 13.1 stickers. I parked next to her one morning at work (we're both teachers) and saw that our stickers were lined up how we run: She always runs on the left and I’m on the right. I emailed her this picture and said even our vans are BRFs. She is truly the best running friend one can have: We do one long run together every week, and it the best therapy one can have. We leave all of our stress, worries, and venting on the path, and once in awhile we even plan lessons together."
Now I wish I had tidy way to tie this anecdote and the idea of "choosing a side" to today's giveaway, but I've got nothing...other than to say if I lived in Seattle, I would run on the right side of the founder of the company providing the giveaway items--Maria of Banana Blossom Press. I met her at a book signing in Seattle, and Maria is one cool, fun chick, and that's reflected in her athletic-themed cards and T-shirts. Dimity's fave card bears basically her mantra at race expos: It reads, "stop saying, 'just a half'" Amen, sista! I love the simplicity of one that reads, "you are a marathoner." A perfect post-26.2 congratulations card.
For today's giveaway, three random winners will get their choice of either 10 Banana Blossom Press cards (5 for themselves, 5 for their BRF), 2 T-shirts, or 5 cards and 1 tee. All you need to tell us (in the Comments section below) is: What side of your running partner do you run on? If you don't have a BRF, tell us what side of the bed you sleep on (single? "the middle" is a side!) Winners from all the week's giveaways will be announced on our site on Sunday.