Thursday, November 4, 2010

Training Partner

If any of you are blessed with a training partner, you will understand this post.  This is an ode to my training partner (of 14 years or so!) - my sister-in-law, Melissa.

When I first met Melissa, my husband and I were a new couple.  He told me about his brother's wife, who was a female Marine.  He said he thought I would really like her.  Frankly, I was skeptical.  I had this picture in my head of a mean old battleaxe with no sense of humor.  

Of course, Melissa is nothing like that - she's upbeat and funny and I don't think she's ever met a stranger.  I liked her immediately.  Here she is in her Marine uniform:

And, when I decided that perhaps the Army Nurse Corps was in my future, it was Melissa who taught me to run.  Patiently, one telephone pole at a time (seriously, that's as far as I could run!), sometimes jogging in circles around me so I wouldn't quit, she taught me to run.

Fast forward a few years - Melissa retired from the Marine Corps and I completed my tour with the Army - we found ourselves in the same area again, and started running together again.  This time we were more evenly matched, because I'd had a few years to find my running legs.  But, life intervened (as it often does), and Melissa sustained a rather serious back injury that required surgical repair.  Then I started a demanding graduate school program.  And we let running take a back seat to everything else.

So, we both gained weight, although Melissa carries hers much better than I do.  Here she is, stylish and chic:

Here I am, sack of potatoes:

And here we are in September after the Women's Half Marathon in Nashville:

And, more recently at the CrossKnox Ten Miler in October:

Can you see the difference?  We ran together on Tuesday and, really, Melissa looks like a different person.  She is still stylish and chic, but she has lost an amazing amount of weight.  I am so proud of her!  And, I've lost a few pounds myself, but I still dress like a sack of potatoes.  We're almost back to our military levels of fitness, and Melissa is gently pushing me to buy some real running clothes.

So, here's to you, Melissa - because no one else would get up before four in the morning to meet me at the gym.  You are an awesome training partner and I am very lucky to have you as a sister-in-law and friend!  Even if you are kinda noisy on the run! :)

Big Fat Greek Marathon Fund: $50
Goal: Unknown (they send out information in February)
Days until our next race: 10


  1. How lucky you both are to have each other. And you both look great!!

  2. Great post - I met my running/training partner through a group that we both belonged to. We both belong to a local, but large, playgroup with our kids. I posted on the website that I really wanted to start running - maybe even a half marathon. She posted on the same forum that she really wanted to too. We had never met each other but hit it off immediately via email and met one day at the track with our kids in tow. We were strangers and could barely run a mile. Fast forward 6 months - she is one of my favorite people and I feel like I have made a life long friend. We ran that half marathon last month and are about to start training for a full marathon. We both went from nonrunning strangers to close friends that can not only run 13 miles straight but can chat the entire time we are running! Wow what a difference.

  3. Thank you, Candice! We are making progress - we both have a little way to go, yet!

    Christina, isn't it amazing how far you've come in six months, and how much running and exercising change your life?

  4. Terri you are amazing! We have truely come a long way - probably logged a 1,000 miles - of course when we started running, Al Gore had just invented the internet so we weren't able to start logging our Dailymile way back then! You have your own style - sometimes scrubs (underclothes optional!) to formal dress - you pull it off equally well. Your goals have been truely amazing - and crazy! "Hey let's run a marathon", "But Terri, you only started running last week!" and that's just her running goals - her professional goals are equally challenging. We stuck by each other during the 7 minute mile days and are still hitting the pavement but at a more sedate 10 - 12 min/mile pace and equally happy. And Christina - you hit the nail on the head when you said we chat the entire way! We have solved so many of the world's problems this suggestion for Congress is to get on a pair of running shoes and meet their constituents on the greenways of America - that's where you solve issues! Thanks Terri for being a friend and running partner! and please stop making me cry at work....

  5. What a sweet post Terri. How nice that you and Melissa get along so great.

    But I do have to say I don't think you looked like a sack of potatoes!

  6. Thank you, Susie - you are very sweet! :)