There is a dichotomy in the way I feel about running. I’m drawn to the sport in part because of the vibrant, overwhelmingly positive and welcoming running community. I love to talk with other runners, race with other runners, read about runners.
But when it comes to running – I do that alone.
I think there are two main reasons for this: self-indulgence and self-consciousness. Running alone means running whenever and wherever I want. I don’t think this is a bad thing; on the contrary, it’s about taking some time for myself.
Also, the idea of running with other people makes me immediately anxious. What if they’re faster than I am? Will I just be slowing them down? What if they don’t want to take walk breaks? What if they think my walk breaks are lame? What if I AM lame?
So I usually run alone.
Lee and I have run together a few times and I’ve enjoyed that. But he’s my husband and is obligated by law to love me even if I run like a glacier. He said so in our vows. Besides, he thinks I’m cute in my running skirts so there’s that.
But over the last few weeks I’ve discovered that while I’m not one to go for a run with just anybody, running with the right people can be wonderful.
When Anna was in town, Nicole came for the weekend too. These are two of my very best girlfriends, and while we’ve never said vows I’m pretty sure they’re obligated to love me too. We got together for a Saturday morning run through downtown, and from the first step I was in heaven. Sharing a beloved route with my beloveds, talking about everything and nothing, high on the endorphins that come from exercise and being around good friends.
Since then I’ve had another opportunity for a social run (what’s up Missy!) and thoroughly enjoyed it as well. I’m not ready to join a running club or hunt for regular running partners – I think there is some legitimate benefit to the self-indulgence theme. But I don’t think I’ll be as anxious about running with people again, especially the right kind of running people.
Want to go for a run sometime?