If You Could See the Support When I Am Running

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I spoke on the phone with a college friend last week after a few months of being out the loop with each other. She talked about her upcoming wedding and the planning involved, and I talked about running, of course. When I told her I was marathon training she asked, “So, you run all those miles…by youself?!”. When questions about running or training alone gets brought up like this, I assume someone is trying to ask something like, “Isn’t it lonely? Don’t you get bored? How can you keep going?”.

Even though I have been marathon training on my own for the last 8 weeks, I am very far from being alone.

family irish 10 mile

I have the biggest support team any runner, mother, woman, or person, could ask for. If you could see the support I have when I am running, I would have 5 pairs of hands resting on my shoulders to encourage me. I would have 5 pairs of hands at my back pushing me to keep going. I would have another 5 pairs of hands holding my head to keep me focused and grounded. I would have 5 pairs of arms wrapped around me because I am loved.

monster dash half

If you could hear the support I have when running, you would hear the hour long conversation I had with my dad that afternoon about proper fueling. You would hear the encouraging words of my family on Tuesdays when I word vomit about running for 3 hours straight.  You would hear every, “Go MB!”, “Run Safe!”, “Have a nice run!”.

If you could feel how supported I am when running, you would feel like we are running together. 

ragnar great river

I’ve learned a lot over the last few years about running and very little of it came from online articles, magazines or books. I rely on so many others’ experiences to help learn more about my own body and what it can do. There is an art to running through a Minnesota Winter. There is a life experience knowledge coming from my mother-in-law who runs up to 6 days a week. As a multi-marathoner, there is a confidence behind my husband’s belief in certain training plans.

Running wouldn’t be as much fun if I couldn’t have hour long text-fests with my cousin about each other’s running and fitness goals. Running wouldn’t be as much fun if I didn’t have my brother to kill some 8 milers with and then celebrate with food. Running wouldn’t be as much fun if I didn’t have all these people around me to help realize how awesome I can be, if I choose to be it.

4th of july half

Someday, I might get to run with my kids. I fantasize about the runs we could have together, if they chose to run with me. I also think about the runs they could chose to do on their own. Even though I am not there to run with them, I am there supporting them, encouraging them, and loving them for everything they are.

Running helped me realize I don’t have to take on my battles alone. My family and friends are there for me because they love me and I deserve to have their support. The team that cheers me on when I am running also cheers me on when I do other things. I strive to be this kind of encouragement for those I love in my life.

ragnar team photo

If you could see the support when I am running, you would see I am not alone! While running can be an individualized sport, I embrace the community we are at any level or place in our lives we are running in.

What would I “see” if I saw you running? Do you thrive in the support of your family, friends, and running community?

  • brandy


    You go girl!!

    • MaryBeth at The Thrive Blog

      Brandy, I will never forget being partners on the treadmill at LA before I was pregnant with David or running my first 5 miler (EVER) with you at Race for the Apples! As a total fit-mama and friend, you are a true inspiration to me!

  • Sam @ PancakeWarriors


    I love this! It’s so nice that you have such a great support system even though you are training “alone”. I’m sure you wouldn’t enjoy running as much if you didn’t have these outlets! Your support team deserves a medal!!

  • Jess @hellotofit


    Reading this makes me happy 🙂 so nice to see that you have so many supporters!!

  • Erin


    I love this so much! I have felt the same support from you the whole way. I’ll never forget how you kept popping up along the way of my first half to cheer me on thanks to Runkeeper live. You are the best too!!!

    • MaryBeth at The Thrive Blog

      I LOVE spectating races & supporting you & other runners. It truly is a THRILL to watch you work so hard towards a goal & then achieve it!

      • Carolyn S.

        Hi MaryBeth! I just remembered that you had a little bloggy here when I saw one of your pins on Pinterest (I temporarily deactivated facebook so I’ve missed the fb stuff.) I Love this post! I will be right here marathon training with you! Through the ups and the downs, the good and the bad. There are plenty of both. 🙂 Great blog you have here from what I’ve read so far!

        • MaryBeth at The Thrive Blog

          Thank you so much, Carolyn! How are you enjoying marathon training? Is this your first? What race did you choose? I saw you ran the Get Lucky and I’d love to try that race sometime!

          • Carolyn S

            It’s technically the second one I have trained for. I was up to 16 miles training for my first before I had to quit due to injury. So now, 6 years later, I do a lot of preventative strength training, foam rolling, etc! I am doing Grandma’s. So far, so good! Tricky with the winter as you mentioned, but good!

            Get Lucky is a pretty fun race! The only thing is it’s strictly a down and back course, so it’s kind of weird having everybody come running at you the other way.

            Good luck with the training, and whatever you may decided to do!

  • Jessica


    Love this! I’m just starting again but running definitely helps me to be my best self, wife and mother. Reading about your running journey is so motivating. Congrats lady!

    • MaryBeth at The Thrive Blog

      Thank you, Jes! It’s true, my running has been a journey from the outside-in, I think. I took one step & never looked back!

  • donna


    MB, I cannot even begin to put into words how proud I am of you and what you have accomplished! You have a very busy life with your boys and husband. Yet you find time to get out there and do this for yourself! I see that you really enjoy the challenges and that is what makes running fun. WE would be fooling ourselves saying every day it’s enjoyable, but there is something about getting out there and finishing a run after dragging yourself out there feeling this is the very last thing I feel like doing. I look forward to some day seeing you at the finish line of your first marathon!! I know just thinking about it even now makes me teary eyed! I know you will do it!! Love ya and thanks for what you and your family do for me with my running!!

    • MaryBeth at The Thrive Blog

      Thank you for these super sweet words, Donna! We have had so much fun over the years and have shared in tough runs & other moments in life! Cheers to getting up, showing up, & kicking butt, right?!

  • Susie @ SuzLyfe


    I adore this. I run alone, I run (now) with people. I’ve run for myself, I’ve run for others (well, and technically also for myself as well with Team Challenge). There are times when I run to feel alive within myself and to prove something to myself, but as I said in my Women’s Running and my National Running Day posts–when I put on that TC singlet, I am running for every person who deals with something greater. And that is just everything.

    • MaryBeth at The Thrive Blog

      So beautifully said, Susie and I appreciate you swinging over and reading! I have been reading your blog for a while now and you have such enthusiasm and are such a dedicated great runner! Thank you for this!

  • Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home


    I run all my runs by myself and I love it. That time on the road is therapy for me. It’s also the only time I’m actually, 100%, completely alone.

    • MaryBeth at The Thrive Blog

      Absolutely! I don’t know what I’d do without the solitude, either! Like that quote “half marathon mommy – 13.1 miles of peace & quiet”!

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