Misery Loves Company

By Megan Cox

I am so excited! After a great deal of bullying and pleading, I have finally convinced someone to come run the Dallas Half Marathon with me in December!

My journey so far has been pretty solitary, that is, if you don’t count my five-month-old baby staring up at me on the treadmill from his play mat.

Otherwise, most of my runs have taken place during the pre-dawn hours, before the husband, the two-year-old, or the baby is up for the day.

Generally, I like the solitary feeling of a run. I need the quiet stillness (well, quiet except for my huffing and grunting), because I don’t get much of that once the day gets going. But there’s something about having company on race day that really speaks to me. Misery loves company, as they so often say.

So who is this new hero of mine? It’s my younger brother. He’s Air Force TACP, which means he’s pretty tough stuff. He’s also four and half years younger than me, which means he’s still swinging the “twenty-something” label, while I’ve migrated into the land of the “thirties.”

Being in shape is part of his job, whereas just being awake and coherent is work enough for me these days.

But we have one important thing in common. We both have a baby boy under the age of one. If anyone understands my sleep deprivation and family obligations, it’s this guy. Spit-up, pooey diapers, or pureed peas? My brother won’t flinch at any of those.

Someday, we’ll be watching our boys play in the swimming pool, throwing a basketball, or jumping on the trampoline together while we sit and chat. At the moment, our visits are a little more stressful (and seem to come with a caravan of strollers, carseats, and diaper bags).

Both of us are already claiming to be the slower one. My speed has taken a beating since my two pregnancies, whereas my brother has to be careful how frequently he runs long distances so as not to get chronic injuries.

It’s one thing to have a desk job where a person can let an injury heal. It’s another to have your job depend on your physical well-being (does motherhood fall into this second category? I think it must).

So as my brother and I rev up our training over the next two months, I’m excited to get his feedback. We do live six hours apart, so training together isn’t an option. I think we will plan maybe one training run when my family heads down to Texas to celebrate my nephew’s first birthday in November.

But I’m not worried about our sibling rivalry pushing us too hard during the race. We’ll probably both take our time, enjoying the opportunity to talk without someone crying in the background!

This is a guest post by Megan Cox, an Oklahoma City-based novelist, writer and contributing blogger for HalfMarathons.Net. Learn more about Megan at her website.

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