Last summer, my best running friend (BRF), Molly, and I saw the musical, "The Book of Mormon"; we guffawed, grimaced, and gasped together the entire show. One song in the first act, in particular, struck us both: "You and Me (But Mostly Me)." Walking outside during intermission, Molly and I wiped away tears of laughter and quickly honed in on the toe-tapping song, in which the charismatic, headstrong missionary, Kevin, brags about he's destined for greatness, while his bumbling, self-sabotaging sidekick, Arnold, will stand next to him and watch. At almost exactly the same time, Molly and I each blurt out, "just like us!" We shared a hearty laugh before heading back into the theatre.
I'm not charismatic, and Molly isn't bumbling, but there was a a good-size nugget of truth to the notion I'm the dominant one in our (running) relationship. More often than not, I'm the one who suggests the route we'll take or sets the time we run. Last fall, when we were both training for Victoria Marathon, we followed my training plan, covering my appointed mileage and aimed for my prescribed pace.
I like to think I'm not bossy--I just know what I want and ask for it. In the mid-1990s, I worked at a magazine with a woman named Alice, who became a good friend. We often went out for gab-filled lunches or window-shopping jaunts. Alice deemed me a, "directosaurus," explaining she could shut off her brain on our outings because she knew I'd "direct" where we walked. So let's just say I often fill the same roll with Molly, just at a faster pace.
But not this year. As you might have seen in my "This year I will..." proclamation on our site last week, Molly is training for an April 12 marathon while I don't have any goal races on my horizon. I'm vowing to let Molly be in charge on our runs. While she's following the Marathon: Own It plan from Train Like a Mother, I didn't even strong-arm her into that decision. Instead, she perused a variety of training plans, then found her own way to one of our plans on TrainingPeaks.
Now, instead of me piping up, it's Molly announcing at the end of our runs, "okay, tomorrow we only have to do 4 easy miles; let's meet at 6:15." Or dictating this weekend's long run will be 13 miles with a 15-minute strong finish.
And, let me tell you: This directosaurus is diggin' it! I adore training for marathons, but don't often love running ones, so this set-up is ideal. I get to put in the miles, but I don't have to bust a big 26.2-mile move in four months. I get the same auto-pilot, no-second-guessing feeling from being on a training plan with no angst if I opt to walk up a big hill or scale back a long run due to travel (which I'll be doing a lot of this March and April with our Tales from Another Mother Runner tour!).
But, most importantly--and proving we're not exactly like "The Book of Mormon" song--it feels good to shift the spotlight from me to Molly. I'm excited to be embarking on this journey, with Molly leading the way.
How about you, mother runner: If you have a BRF (or a group of running buddies), who determines the route or mileage?