Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pick us, pick us!!

Hi! We’re Carolyn & Joyce and we’ve been best friends since the first period on our first day of high school, when we met in Mr. Pappas’ world history class. Not that we’re that old or anything (and, for the record, Carolyn’s older), but we’ve finally gotten to the point that we’ve been friends for more than half our lives. Eeeks!
Junior Prom!

Joyce: You should probably know that I pretty much only and always call Carolyn, “Duchie,” because she was in madrigal choir in 9th grade. Her choir “name” was Duchess Knifeinbach…and I’ve never stopped using it!

Carolyn: Yup! We grew up about five minutes apart in Indianapolis and, after high school, went to college on opposite sides of Indiana. Then, Joyce kept leaving the country and I moved to Chicago, but every time we got together again, it never felt like we’d never been apart.

WE DID IT: our first half marathon!
Joyce: The day that Duchie and her husband decided to move to Washington, DC, where I’d eventually landed, was one of the happiest of MY life, because it meant that we were going to live in the same city for the first time since high school graduation! It was the most wonderful gift: living in different places means that you really, really appreciate that there’s nothing like being able to see your best friend when you need to rant or cry or celebrate or just watch trashy tv together.

Eventually, it also meant that we got to run together…a lot!

Carolyn: When I was a kid, my dad always seemed to be running. I can remember him coming home from runs all drippy and sweaty, and trying to get us to hug him (that never went over well). We traveled as a family to watch him run some races, and I thought it was cool, but it was never something I was interested in.

As a kid, I half-heartedly ran some races, and went through phases where I really wanted to run with dad, but none of it really stuck. I’d putter around the neighborhood, or slog miserably through a race, but it was never really something I wanted to do.

Joyce: When I was younger, I was a figure skater. Not a good one, mind you, but I stuck with it and I still miss the feeling of flying that you can only get on the ice. After college, I started running so that I could participate in Cancer Research UK’s annual women’s only 5Ks, Race for Life (I was living in London then).

At the time, my god-sister was in the final stages of battling melanoma. My mother had fought gallbladder cancer for two years and passed away just before Thanksgiving, 2002. My father was by her side every step of the way and was the world’s most devoted caregiver. I really think his death, officially from a heart attack in May 2003, was the result of a broken heart. Raising money for a cancer charity seemed like something I could do to support my godparents and to honor my parents’ memories. My running “career” went through several fits & starts after that, but was launched for good in summer 2009.

Carolyn: I noticed that Joyce was getting more excited about running and we’d toyed with the idea of doing a race together, but we didn’t really follow through with it until 2010. That year, for the first time since graduating from high school, Joyce and I lived in the same city again. We signed up to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon together, and started running together several times a week.
Joyce: Duchie wasn’t a runner at all when I first suggested that we train for the Princess and I think I’d only gotten as far as a 10K. So, it was a huge challenge for both of us.

Carolyn: Running became a way for Joyce and me to spend time together that was just ours. It was our chance to talk about what was going on in our lives—it was running therapy! 

Law school graduation - that degree was half Duchie's!
Joyce: It’s SO true. Without Duchie and our regularly-scheduled morning runs (which were a HUGE deal, given that she loves to sleep ‘til noon), I don’t know how I would have made it through the stress of law school and studying for the bar exam. I think we’ve always brought out the best in each other, as well as our inner children, but now we also make each other better runners, too. 

Carolyn: We successfully completed the half marathon, and several other races together, but once I started running of my own volition, my dad was so excited that we had this experience to share. Now, visiting my parents almost always includes a run with my dad. I’ve even gotten my husband to run (occasionally)! Running has become a unique way for me to interact with many of the important people in my life.

Joyce: Last fall, I got a job and moved all the way to Seattle, leaving Duchie behind in DC. It was really, really sad for both of us.

Carolyn: We’re both still running, and we talk on the phone together, but I miss our running therapy!

Joyce: Me, too! We haven’t been for a run together since January, when you dropped everything to come and see me in Philadelphia after my grandmother’s funeral. I know it was just a treadmill run in the hotel gym, but having you there made everything feel better.

Carolyn: Don’t forget that time when I totally dreamed that I was chasing you around the course of the London Marathon screaming “YOU CAN DO IT!!!.” 

First thing I did after my first marathon -
Call Duchie!
Joyce: I wish you could have been there in person! As usual, you were the first person I called when I finished it.

Carolyn: Joyce is easily distracted! Ahem….

Having the chance to go to the Totally Trials weekend together would be a fantastic chance for us to visit and catch up, while watching some truly inspiring athletes. We’ve bonded a lot over running, and it would be amazing to have a weekend together, sharing something we both enjoy.

Other than seeing Joyce, I am most excited about watching the hurdles. There’s something so graceful about watching the runners fly around the track and then float over those hurdles—it’s beautiful!

Joyce: Our amazing weekend at the Trials would involve some serious run time, right? In between the 5,000 and 10,000 meters? I can hardly wait to see who will make up the rest of the US “long” distance team – will it be a frustrated marathoner who came up short in Houston? I love these distances because I’ve, obviously, run them myself. It makes what the athletes do even more impressive!

Thank you so much, Oiselle, for the Totally Trials opportunity! We’d LOVE to come spend the weekend with you, our future Olympians…and with each other!