accountabilibuddy (urban dictionary) A friend, maybe a best friend, who you get into trouble with and who is somewhat responsible for your actions.

I had a running buddy (RB) for about three months a couple years back. She never ran long distance before in her life but was the one that encouraged me to sign up for a half marathon with her.

She even registered before me.

For all intensive purposes I was our "coach" since I had run cross-country back in high school and slightly--although not significantly--more adept at planning workouts. Mind you, I am built more like a mule then a cheetah. So while my plan was not to necessarily make us the fastest runners in the race, I did plan on us at least finishing the darn thing.

It was nice to have someone to talk to and pass along the miles. We even went out and bought matching bright pink running shirts and black shorts.

Yes, we were those girls.

The girls who probably spent more on gear then the seasoned runners. We would look good while running, but choke on the dust of everyone passing by. But we were in it together.

It was hard finding time to practice together. My RB was going back to grad school and working two part time jobs. I'm an early morning runner, and she was not available until the late evening.

It was difficult to keep the same pace. Being the slow mule that I am, I still had the endurance and wanted to push it a little faster. But my RB was not at that level and we had to pull back. Often times I felt like we would go faster if we walked. Sometimes it felt like I was exerting more energy to reign in my speed.

It was difficult to settle on the mileage. Sometimes I would not tell my RB how many miles I had planned for the day because that could be a deal breaker. I knew it was all mental, because after one easy five mile run while we were stretching it out and I told her how much we did, my RB did not believe me, "Seriously?"


"You are $*@&ing me!"

"No, no I am not. But thank you for asking."

"But it went by so quickly," she shook her head guzzled some water. The girl liked to stay really hydrated. She had the tendency to channel her inner cactus.

"It sure did."

But the next time I planned a five mile run and told her ahead of time, "Remember that five mile loop we did last week?"

"Sure do," RB said.

"We're going to do that again and see if we can improve on our time."

RB quirked an eyebrow, "Like #*&% we are."

End of conversation. We ran two miles together and called it a day.

But to her credit, my RB held on for the most part. Our training was sporadic at best, and at worst I ended up adding my own solo workouts to the schedule. But we carried on.

RB and I did run the whole half marathon together and finished with matching times to coordinate with our matching Pepto-Bismol pink shirts. Tired and chaffing, we crossed the line with our hands joined and thrust into the air. Together we shuffled through the chute and received our finisher medals. We allowed ourselves to be herded like cattle with the other runners to the food lines where we proceeded to gorge ourselves on Keebler cookies and fruit.

We proceeded to take several dozen photos posing with said metals and to later proclaim or victories on facebook. I arrived home some time later and immediately collapsed on the couch.

Still wearing my metal of course. That thing was awesome. And shiny. A girl likes to have her bling.

Some time later I reflected on the experience and determined a couple things about myself. The first and most obvious was that accountabilabuddys can be pretty darn important. They are the ones that get you off your rump and motivate you to move.

The second thing I learned is that I am a lone wolf. As much as I enjoyed the comradery of my cross-country team in high school, to me running has become something of an individual journey. The balance between finding encouragement from others and finding the motivation to do it on my own has been difficult.

My RB ran a couple more smaller road races with me, but we stopped practicing together. I stopped holding back and simply set up a meeting spot at the end to find each other when we were finished. I keep running. RB fell off the bandwagon.

So in a way this blog is really just a therapeutic outlet for me. I have some personal fitness goals, as well as some purely personal goals and I need something to keep me accountable. I doubt anyone would find this in cyber space and want to read it on a regular basis.

But if you are, I guess, umm, welcome?

I am not fast. I am not strong. And if I am being brutally honest I am slightly overweight. Okay, moderately overweight, but I am keeping the scale number to myself, thank you very much.

But I am built like a mule, so will continue on strong.

And continue to wear the Pepto-Bismo pink shirt. The darn thing is so hideously bright cars swerve to avoid hitting me.

What can I say, this mule likes the attention.

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