|Ryan, Lola, Mark, and I at the SUU Homecoming Parade 2010.|
I have been thinking a lot lately about all the people who have influenced Mark and I to become runners and be the people we are today. One of the biggest influences would have to be the power couple of Ryan and Lola. I met Lola my second day at SUU in my Nonverbal Communications class (although she doesn't remember me at all). It wasn't until later classes with both Ryan and Lola (where they started dating and eventually decided to get married) that we became friends.
Time passed and they moved north, then we moved next to them, then we moved again. In the first 2 years of us knowing each other, you would think that Mark and I would have caught onto Ryan's lifestyle choice to be a runner, but we didn't. He ran the 5k at SUU's Homecoming, but it never hit us he was a "crazy" runner (although, with a 20 minute finish time, it probably should have). It wasn't until he ran his 20 mile training run for the Salt Lake Marathon 2012 that we found out that all this time, we were in the midst of a marathoner. I kind of feel stupid now.
He did work at a running store. And Lola talked about him out running here and there. But a guy who ran 20 miles in about 2 hours? This we had to watch. So on the morning of the Salt Lake Marathon, we trudged very early out of bed to be in Salt Lake in time to see our friend Josh cross the finish line in the half and Ryan in the full. It was totally worth the early wake up.
|Finishing strong. He is such a fast runner!|
As Mark and I stood there in the mix of runners that were finished, and other well wishers, we were in awe of watching all these runners, happy and finishing something so huge. Mark and I looked at each other in awe. We had only just began being able to run 2 miles together. These people were running 13 or more. And were living to tell the tell! We decided right then that we too had to do that some day. The next year we ran the 5k at Salt Lake and I ran the half this year. All thanks to Ryan (and Josh) and their incredible journey.
But Ryan isn't our only inspiration. Lola too is a runner. She quietly goes out, sometimes pushing the jogging stroller, putting in miles that she never admits to. For her, running is her private time and she keeps her accomplishments pretty private. Only once did she ever brag. I received an e-mail from her post her first 5 mile run. It was amazing to read her running story.
We all talk to Ryan about all of his running experience. Mark and I purposely go to Ryan to buy our running shoes so that we can also get all the running knowledge we can gather while trying out shoes. But lately I have had to rely on the example that Lola set for me when Ryan was training for his marathon in 2012. She was home with a baby all day while he worked and trained. I never heard a complaint. I have to remember that when Mark is out running sometimes. Marathon training is no joke. It takes hours and hours. Sometimes family and chores get forgotten. And while I know he needs this for himself, it is really easy to be selfish and want all of his time too. I am sure Lola felt the same way. But I never heard anything but pride when she spoke of Ryan's running. And that, to me, is just as amazing as Ryan finishing a marathon in lightening speed.
By the way, if you want to really be impressed with Lola, she has a blog of awesome meat-less recipes. You need to go check it out.