Single Mother Runner (SMR) Seeks Best Running Friend (BRF)

As I’ve been sharing with you in my blog posts, my life has been "In Transition." Last month, I shared that I’m now "on the other side" of the tunnel and staring up a steep mountain. Well this month, I’ve begun my ascent, and I'm realizing it's a bit lonely.

Me (left), making a running friend in Spokane last month.

If you’ve ever run with someone else (not neck and neck, but in stride with), your huffs-and-puffs are drowned out with chatter—gabbing about everything from spilled milk to sleepless nights and the worries that come with keeping our human beings alive. I have shared many a mile with great friends—some old, some new. And I’ve had the privilege of being a part of the AMR Run + Refresh Retreat where women from all corners of North America met for the first time, shared a race day, and left after just one weekend friends for life, miles in-between be damned.

These days, though, back at home, my breath echoes in my ears and my worries buttress up in my brain like it’s their job to stay dormant. (If only that worked, right?)

These days, I watch on Facebook and Instagram as my Sole Sisters hit the trails and share miles of laughter (or tears) together. And I feel lost. I am running solo now—not pushing a stroller with one hand while my other is guiding my other daughter on her bicycle.

Bright side: I graduated! I made it through the Stroller Mama phase! Now every run is a Freedom Run! Bummer side: I’ve also moved away and now I’m running alone—without a Best Running Friend to laugh the miles and the worries away with. End of the world? No. We all run alone—sometimes by necessity, sometimes by preference. And the truth is, we all have to run our miles solo—it’s our own two feet that have to carry our bodies down the road, one mile at a time. And it’s our own singular willpower that drives us up out of bed before dawn or down into the basement in the pre-midnight hours to train.

So if running solo is something we do anyway, why the fuss? Why the longing for a buddy?

Dimity and the Retreat crew gathering

Because…it takes a village. It really does. Community makes the hard things seem less hard—even for a few moments. And it keeps us moving through the hard – running farther in a morning run than we’d have given ourselves credit for or challenged ourselves to do.

They all show up, so you will, too. keeps us honest – with ourselves and each other. We can’t skip too many of our individual training runs if we expect to be able to keep up on the group run. And we can’t just not show up, because there will be someone there who noticed.  I repeat: There will be someone who noticed—who was waiting there for us and who was counting on our chatter. Someone there to care – and to share in carrying the weight of both our worlds. Even if for just the first 3 miles of our day.

Who else can you mess around with?

And because…there's nothing like Another Mother Runner. Though we might have spouses or co-workers who can offer insight into the daily musings and meanderings of our hearts-at-rest, there really is no one more equipped to carry our hearts-at-work than another woman whose heart is also at work – another Mother Runner.

Better together!

And as if you need more convincing—or proof: There is absolutely nothing sweeter (in this running life of ours) than sharing in the cold, rainy, hilly, hard, ruthless, or warm, sunny, scenic, glorious training miles and then crossing the FINISH line—all smiles—together.

If you’re looking for a BRF: reach out! Entries could appear as such:
Single Mother Runner (SMR) looking for BRF (Best Running Friend) in the Spokane area. Must love after-run coffees or margaritas (etc!), have B+ map reading/trail guiding skills (mine are a solid C) and a penchant for gabbing non-stop (I’m in the huff-and-puff stage), and enjoys running after dawn (though I’d be willing to convert) and at a routinely happy pace (not necessarily fast).

Now it’s your turn: Tell us about your BRF (or BRF-search requirements) below!


19 responses to “Single Mother Runner (SMR) Seeks Best Running Friend (BRF)

  1. I used to have a great group of BRFs — weekend runs and brunch! Then kids happened. Now I need to run at 5 am weekdays, 7 am weekends and it’s very hard to find a running group that works on that schedule. If anyone is up for an early morning 10 min/mile (sometimes faster, sometimes slower) run in north Seattle along the Burke Gilman let me know! I’m not dragging myself out of bed at the crack of dawn unless I know someone is going to keep me company in the dark. Why aren’t there personal ads for BRFs?? [email protected]

  2. I miss my BRF! It’s been 12 years since i moved away! Looking for one in Bear, DE who runs super slow and can run crazy early (4:30) or satudays!!

  3. Searching for a BRF in the UP of Michigan. I’m in Deerton, outside of Marquette, and when we moved here in July, I lost my BRF of 8 years and am beyond lonely. I work from home and am super shy – and the local running group in 95% college aged dudes. Looking for a 12:00ish or slower friend.

  4. Searching for a BED in my new home town. I have tried running groups and clubs, but they are not well attended. Need to find another crazy mom’s in Yuma who will run before sunrise at a 10 minute pace or faster.

  5. I’m a BAMR looking for BRF in the SLC, UT area. Must love running in the early-ish am (I have to be done by 7:30 or 8). My dog is a great running partner but it’s just not the same as someone I can actually chat with. I’ve loved my hermit time, but am ready to be a little more extroverted to start off the day and pep up my runs! I haven’t made many good friends since I’ve moved to UT and I’d love to find someone to run with even if it’s just for recovery days or long runs. I usually run 8-9 minute miles on my long runs (10-20 miles), but speedwork may be as fast as 6 min/miles.

  6. I lost my BRF when I had babies! Because I couldn’t train as much ahe started doing CrossFit and other physical activities. We remain friends and will be doing a 5K together soon.

  7. I had a long-time BRF for many years many years ago. We worked at the same place and would go for runs almost every day at lunch time. We both retired, but still tried to meet up a couple days a week. But over the years, my BRF has really slowed down, while I am still running (and racing) strongly – despite being over 60. We will still try to run maybe one day a week – usually an “easy” day for me. I wish I could find someone else to run with that was my pace – or a bit faster. But, for now, I guess I will stick to solo runs.

  8. I’m with Lisa+Dennis. Must be willing to run at odd hours and slow pace. I am literally to the point of running a personal ad.

  9. I’ve never had a BRF… I run with my husband, and while that’s nice it’s still not the same as being with a girl friend…

  10. I had a BRF during training for my first half marathon. We had the same pace, and there were literally NO BOUNDARIES in our conversations. Sadly she decided to focus on a different fitness goal and isn’t training with me for my first marathon. I have running buddies (through a USAFit program) but nobody to replace my first BRF. It’s a similar search for “mommy friends”. Just haven’t really found my tribe yet. Always on the lookout!

  11. Sigh. I’m in the same boat Jana is. My BRF/BFF moved to SWEDEN! about six years ago and my running life has never been the same. (Okay, so maybe menopause and a bout of whooping cough had something to do with that.) Monica and I never bailed on each other aside from being deathly ill (I’m looking at you, stomach flu three weeks before my first Boston!) and even when we were annoyed with each other we always ran together. Monica encouraged me to run my first marathon; came back for me whenever her tempo pace left me in the dirt (which was almost every time); and even undressed me after a freezing run where my Raynaud’s kicked in so badly I couldn’t move my hands. (Yes, we were inside the house by then.) I don’t know about the rest of you but I think finding even a decent BRF is a delicate, specific dance. Good luck to everyone still searching!

  12. I had the best group of BRFs when I was in grad school but now that I’ve moved away I haven’t found a new BRF yet. Now that we are hopefully permanently settled I’d love to find someone to share the miles with. Looking for someone who can run early early on weekdays (T/Th), but I’m a bit more flexible on weekends. I live in Bellevue, WA, but would travel into Seattle for the right BRF. 🙂 My natural pace is 9-10 min pace on easy runs but could a bit run faster or slower for company. Here’s hoping . . .

  13. Over the years I have had many amazing BRF – each different and unique, each meeting a mutually established need at the time. As we have moved, career shifts, kids, marriages dissolve – BRFs fall to the wayside. I miss them – each and every one of them. I have a new BRF right now – we meet, she keeps me moving, we laugh, we share anger, we share frustration – it is “mobile therapy.” Each BRF is like a blind date – you have to find the right connection. They are some of the most special people in the world and have each had a profound impact on my life. #bettertogether #togetherwomencan

  14. I have a BRF who I absolutely love who is willing to get up at 4 am; however, once I started the heart rate training program, her pace was too fast for me. It’s tough especially on the longer run, but I have also found some enjoyment in running solo. Luckily, I still have my best cyclig friend.

  15. I’m still mourning the loss of my BRF about 3 weeks ago. She was THE best. Flexible with time (I still have an unpredictable 3-year old) she would even wrestle the stroller from me halfway to push. She always had kindness and encouragement when I was struggling (in the run or in life), she was right at my easy effort pace (I could do my HRT better running and chatting with her than I’ve been able to on my own), she was just the best ever. She still lives across the street, but decided she needed to take a break from running. It was a “it’s not you, it’s me” sort of feeling, and I’m still wondering if it really was something I said or did. But it’s still too raw and recent for me to be looking for someone new. But hopefully soon. 🙂 🙁

  16. I recently moved from Hawaii to Florida (Palm Beach County) and I don’t know anyone here except coworkers who thus far all appear to be non runners. Between starting a new job, moving, school and kids I haven’t run in a month. I’ve got to get back out there! I will hit the road solo but finding someone to keep me on task works so much better.

  17. I had the best BRF ever when I was in California, but then I moved to Georgia. I miss her SO much. I doubt I’ll ever find another BRF like her. Always reliable, never bailing to sleep instead (and we ran at 4:30am!), willing to go slower or faster as needed though our pace was almost perfectly matched, full of good advice and an ever ready ear, willing to play lookout when roadside pit stops were needed… I think they broke the mold when she was made!

  18. Looking for a new BRF for weekday early am as well as long early runs on the weekend. My weekend BRF moved – they all seem to move away. Sigh. My weekday BRF has been traveling a lot for work. Art Museum area Philadelphia.

  19. Still searching for a BRF: must run at a snail’s pace, live in the middle of Nowhere, CT and be able to run at 4:30-ish A. M.
    Ok then, still looking…

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