The Love of the Running Buddy

  • Love of the Running Buddy

Contributed by Kristine Ciardello and Cassie Pisone

Tis’ the season for love. All kinds of love. Love of your life. Friend love. Puppy love.

And the love of running.

It’s real, y’all.

And even more real? The love of the running buddy.

I mean who else do you get to talk about your pre, mid and post run fueling with? Who else motivates you to get out the door at 6am and hit the pavement? Who else understands obsessing over Garmin splits and paces?

It’s not an easy task to find the perfect running buddy. Your paces have to almost match, you’ve got to push each other, you’ve got to both agree to not throw things out like “just a little bit further!”… and you’ve got to have your post-run brunch game in sync.

We (Kristine and Cassie) found each other through our love of running (and blogging!), and we’ve never looked back.

Without further ado, why we love running – together!

K: We love running together, but who would be your dream running buddy to Hopper’s Hands and back?

C: Oh man, that’s a tough one. Is it lame to say my dad?

K: Not at all. Does Kate Middleton run?

K: If we weren’t running together, what’s on repeat on your playlist?

C: I’m not going to lie, I listened to “Formation” by Beyonce like 6 times in a row the other day. So any Beyonce, really.

K: Judge me, but I LOVE running to Taylor Swift “Shake It Off” or Nick Jonas “Levels”.

K: If you could take the other to your favorite spot to run, where would it be?

K: Paris! I absolutely love running up and down the Seine. And I know Cassie would be the perfect running buddy to get coffee and breakfast afterwards with. We have the same brain when it comes to post-run celebrating.

C: How can I beat Paris? I would take Kristine home to Pittsburgh and run on the trail by my house that I used to spend so many hours on. So many memories of things I thought about, worked through and people I ran with there. Then we could hit one of my fave Pittsburgh spots for brunch (obvi).

C: When/why did you start running?

K: I always associated running with punishment – growing up playing competitive soccer, we’d have to run if we made a mistake, weren’t working hard enough, etc. Post-college I craved the outdoors after a long day in the office so I started slowly – I’d pick a stop sign on Marina Blvd to run to, catch my breath, and then take off again. I worked up to a 5K, then a 10K and then just jumped into my first half-marathon – the San Francisco Half!

C: I was 13-14. I just had way too much energy so I would run around my neighborhood. In middle school, the high school cross-country coaches came to our gym class one day to scout people to join the cross-country team. They noticed I had decent stamina and endurance and asked me to join. I almost walked out of the info meeting when they told me I would have to run 3 miles. Now I don’t typically leave the house for less than 6!

C: Why do you love running with the other?

K: I adore Cassie in any capacity but I love running with her because we can chat, catch up, get our best thinking done, find endless things to laugh about… and you can bet that if I told her I’ll be at her place at 7am, I’ll be there. Running with her holds me accountable and pushes my pace!

C: Time goes by so much quicker! And I feel like on our usual route, there are always funny things that happen that’s fun to share with the other… I have an older guy on my route I see most mornings and he’s SO excited to see me and finally Kristine was with me one morning when we ran into each other so I was glad someone knew he was actually real! Also, it’s great time to catch up and brainstorm things together!

K: And to this day very few people believe he actually exists – I can attest to the fact that he does!

C: What is your most memorable run?

K: California International Marathon in 2011. My first full marathon – I trained so hard, never missing a training run, cross-training like a maniac and willing that sub-4 to come my way. I finished in 3:57 and it was the proudest I’ve ever felt running.

C: Pittsburgh Marathon in 2015 – my first full marathon! I wanted to quit at mile 15 and the next few miles were pretty dark. I knew I couldn’t let anyone down because they all expected me to finish. I couldn’t sleep besides being so tired that night because I was so happy I had finally run a full marathon.

C: Have you ever fallen out of running?

K: I was injured with a stress fractured heel and couldn’t run for a couple of months. I wanted to, I just… couldn’t. When I was finally cleared, I avoided running because I was scared – that it would hurt, that my paces would be sluggish, and that I couldn’t keep up like I used to. So I leveraged the running community to get me back out there. That’s why I love it.

C: Kind of. Post high school I took some time off and then one beautiful 70 degree day in March got me back outside my freshman year. My milage was very, very low a few years ago. And I had an injury this fall that sidelined me pretty seriously for about two months.

C: What is your bucket list run?

K: Qualifying for Boston (Cass I smell a fall marathon to get us there!) and I’d love to run London.

C: Qualifying for Boston. I’d love to do a race overseas at some point too just to experience it – maybe Tokyo Marathon? Oh, and as an SF resident, I have to say Dipsea Dash.

We’d love to catch you on the run one of these days – we’ll race you to brunch!

Kristine blogs at and Cassie at

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