#throwawaythursday vs. #throwbackthursday

TTT-320This edition of #throwawaythursday vs. #throwbackthursday isn’t really a Fat Josh vs. Skinny Josh post. But, in a way it is kind of something I don’t want to go back to. The first picture of me is after I ran my first half marathon back in July 2011 (it really doesn’t feel that long ago) and the other picture of me after I ran one of my last races, New Year’s Half Marathon, this January. Do you see the difference between the two pictures?

If you guessed the length of my patchy facial hair … you would be wrong.

The difference? FRIENDS!!! When I ran my first half marathon I ran by myself. I didn’t know anyone. I went to the starting line by myself, I ran by myself and I finished by myself. My sister and brother were there at the finish line to take pictures, but I basically did it all by myself. It was still an amazing experience, but I would have never imagined how much my running and life would change less than three years after running that half.

Running as many races that I have ran, I’ve met a NUMBER of other runners and have made friendships and relationships that I never would have made outside of running. I truly believe that. I am also a part of a few AWESOME Facebook running groups — Runners Anonymous, Utah Fartlek Society, Run4Fun and etc. that I have met a number of other runners from. When we geet together online we easily distract each other talking about not just running, but food, life and whatever sets us on a tangent.

These relationships have helped me stay motivated to keep running. Quite honestly I don’t know if I would have wanted to make the ambitious goal of 180 races before 40 if I didn’t have this amazing group of running friends? They keep me running, they keep me motivated, they inspire me and they make me LAUGH!

More than anything I love when that circle of friends grows. Wether it’s meeting new people before races, at mile 9 of race or post race. I love making connections and drawing strength from new friends. Gosh, I better stop here before this turns into me bearing my testimony.

Just know, running friends make the running world go ’round.

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