First, why is Lara Favreau called, “The Fav”?
I met Lara Favreau (aka The Fav) back in October of 2010. She was a mutual friend of Karen Fortier’s and Karen had roped Lara into running my 20 mile NYC training run with us. I say running it with us, but in fact, Karen and I ran about a good mile behind her. I didn’t get a chance to speak with her on that run as she was so far ahead of me, and having never run 20 miles in my life, I was doing my best just to get the run done. Having since done many runs with Lara, and having had many “adventures” together, I’ve come to realize something about her: she is simply FAV-TASTIC, thus, “The Fav”. But more on that later.
The true story begins with the Trader Joe’s Chocolate Ganache Torte
Really, what I need to confess right here and now is this: you don’t know what you don’t know about running until you learn it the hard way. Or, as a friend of mine is fond of saying, a cat only walks across a hot roof once! As mentioned above, The Fav had only ever done one run with me, and I couldn’t even say “with” me, but rather, ahead of me. When I got to my taper week, two weeks before the NYC marathon in 2010, I was scheduled to run eight miles and it was the first time in all of my marathon training that Karen wasn’t going to be able to run with me. She asked The Fav if she’d run with me and The Fav agreed. Here is what I didn’t know about running at the time – it really does matter what you put into your stomach the night before ANY run, not just the long runs!!! Trader Joe’s had just opened in Portland, Maine. We underprivileged folks who had never had the luxury of shopping at a TJ’s went bonkers, well, that’s what we did in my house, and my husband came home with all sorts of goodies, including TJ’s Chocolate Ganache Torte. Now, I’d been working really hard up to this point – running, working out, trying to get strong, but I also found out I needed to consume a lot more calories. I never gave a second thought as to what those calories should be, so of course, eating not just one, but two (or maybe even three) slices of this dessert seemed perfectly sensible the night before my eight mile taper run. I was, after all, in need of rest and carb loading!
Not all carbs are created equal – what you don’t know can and will hurt you!
Again, disclosure, you don’t know what you don’t know… So, The Fav, who had never really run with me before, turns up for my last “long” run before NYC. It’s just her and me. We start off and a mile into it, I tell her I feel sick. I explain that I ate this chocolate cake the night before (I lied and said it was just one piece but it was almost half the cake), and all I can think about is hurling it up. Then I proceed to hurl. At this, The Fav is mortified!!! She suggests to me that she go back to get her car and pick me up, to which I reply, “No, this might happen in NYC, I have to run through it.” I know better today, but back then, well… I just didn’t know. So we carry on. Another mile later, I hurl again. And so it goes the whole eight miles, each time The Fav imploring me to stop running but I keep saying, “No, I have to push through, this could happen in NYC.” We finally end up back on my road and I still managed one last hurl for good measure. At this stage, I’m convinced that The Fav thinks I’m a maniac and will NEVER run with me again. However, if you know The Fav like I do now, it only endeared me to her more so.
And so our adventures began
This is the real reason why I dubbed Lara, “The Fav”. The thing is, she’s “relentless” in her pursuit of all things athletic and is continually pushing herself to new levels of fitness. When I think that cycling 25 miles at 5am, then running 7 miles at lunch and then attending an Ultimate Body Conditioning class at night is a pretty good day, I already know she’s cycled 50 miles, ran a marathon and then went to Ultimate Body Conditioning as a cool down! And for some reason, challenge is her FAVorite word in the whole of the English language, and she’ll embrace any and all challenges in a FAVtastic way.
Highlights of our many adventures together
Over the years The Fav and I have had a lot of adventures, have learned a lot about what NOT to do before, during and after a run, have taken on new challenges such as doing full sprint triathlons before starting our workday, made our Washington DC subway problem someone else’s, knitting… But here is a condensed list of some of my favourite adventures/stories.
1. When you show up to volunteer at a triathlon in full cycling gear on your bike, you may be asked to lead the first elite female runner on the run portion of the tri, even if you DON”T know the course!
2. The Fav will go AWOL on a 20 mile run that SHE set the course for.
3. The Fav will laugh at you during your BQ marathon when a mile six you drop your Chapstick.
4. When in doubt, MAKE YOUR PROBLEM SOMEONE ELSE’S PROBLEM!
5. Crying tears of joy when The Fav emerged from a mile swim in the Potomac as part of Team High Cadence at the Nation’s Tri. (Our team came in 6th place over all!!! How cool is that – see image right.)
6. The Fav does not like egg salad sandwiches. This shouldn’t be my problem but for some reason it is.
7. The Fav will not take your advice on how to hydrate or fuel during a marathon, even if it is the Boston Marathon!
8. Being announced as the first female athlete to cross the finish line of the Polar Bear Tri, when actually, it was The Fav (I was the second female athlete).
9. The Fav owes me big time for finishing my knitting project – an elaborate scarf, a challenge she set, for the Tri for a Cure in 2015. The Fav is STILL working on her scarf today, a year and a half later!
10. When cross-training in a pool, there is ALWAYS a pool story!
11. If The Fav is involved, things may not go as planned, the “Don’t let this be you” moment…
12. You can fashion a hat out of a linen napkin and get total strangers to model the “hat”.
13. Don’t trust me to do math after running 23 miles. I may add time instead of subtracting it and encourage you to pick up the pace.
14. Snaking our way towards the start of the Hartford Marathon to be told, “You’re not that good”. ( I was mortified but later finished in 3rd place for my age group – not too shabby.)
15. Photo-bombing can be a lot of fun if you’re doing it while dressed in a tri suit.
16. The Fav will confuse a closet with a classroom then spend months trying to convince you that anyone could make this mistake.
17. When I wake up at 4:30am every weekday to work out, I know The Fav has already been awake an hour before me – usually texting me “motivational” texts telling me to get out of bed!
18. Whenever you are with The Fav, there will be a challenge and an adventure of some sort, count on it.
19. If you are a friend of The Fav’s, you have a friend for life!
Thank you for all the laughs and adventures throughout the years. You, Karen and KB have made me a stronger, faster runner as a result. The laughs we’ve shared along the way, the silly situations we have gotten ourselves in (Hi, yeah, I’m fine, I’m great, I’m okay, thanks for asking…), the tales we will always have to tell, have enriched my life to no end. I can’t imagine how I would have gotten through four World Major Marathons without The Fav as a running buddy!!!
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