|Helen, Cheri and Sue - the first half of team Girl's Day Out|
Shortly after I retired I learned that two women I had known for years – Sue and Helen – were also runners. Why I didn’t find out until after retirement still astounds me, but the good news is, I did find out. And we started running together. And we started doing races together. And we started doing travel races together. And we became half of the well-known relay team, Girls’ Day Out. What? What do you mean you’ve never heard of us?
I find it so much more fun running with people than running by myself. I train harder, and I go out to run with them no matter what conditions are like. Because Helen and Sue are going to be there, and they’re not going to wimp out because of a little rain or snow. We talk while we’re running. We talk about our families. We talk about our plans. We talk about the races we’ve run and the races we’re planning to run. Sometimes we even whine about our running injuries – but not often. We encourage one another. We cheer for each other’s accomplishments – both on and off the pavement.
Helen and Sue are both older than I am. They are role models to me. I hope to still be running when I am their age. Actually, I hope to be still running with them when I am the age that they are now. I hope to someday have Sue’s speed and strength. I hope to someday have Helen’s peaceful determination. I hope to one day watch as Helen or Sue beats Ida Keeling’s record for the fastest100-year-old.
At the last 10K we ran together, we chatted with some younger women who had just finished the race. They commented on how much fun it must be to have friends that you’ve been running with for years. And while we’ve been running together for a much shorter time than our respective chronological ages might indicate, we all encouraged them to keep running, and to keep running together.
I guess that makes me a role model, too. I am hopeful that I, like Helen, Sue, and Ida, can encourage women of all ages to be runners for life.