Running with Friends

14 Sep

Confession: I’ve never successfully gone running with someone else.

I’ve got a lot of running insecurities. One of them is that I’m freakishly slow. Another of them is that I will collapse after mile 1 and not be able to finish. Because of these things, I’ve always shied away from running with other people – what if they want to run faster or farther and I just can’t keep up?

All of these scary things where swirling through my head last night when I met up with my friend Kim to run 5 miles. Kim just ran the Disneyland 1/2 Marathon and she’s more than a little fast. She promised we could go “as slow as I needed to” but I knew I’d be horribly embarrassed if she started to pull away and I couldn’t keep up. I was also petrified of trying to run & talk at the same time. Isn’t it enough that I run and don’t fall down?!?! I kept trying to temper her expectations – I hadn’t run much last week because of my move, my legs were still oddly tired from the 5k on Sunday, I haven’t been sleeping well et cetera et cetera et cetera (said in the King and I voice [we can be best friends if you get that reference]). She kept telling me it was fine, but I wasn’t buying it.

We decided to meet at one of our favorite restaurants, run 2.5 miles out and back and then have delicious, delicious pasta {seriously, if you’re ever in Santa Monica, check out Fritto Misto on Colorado – cheap and delicious!}. Right away, I had a problem – I had to pee. Could we find somewhere to stop, or would that be a dealbreaker? Kim promised it was fine, we’d swing by her office, there was a Starbucks in the lobby. As we started to run, Kim completely let me set the pace. After a brief pitstop at Starbucks we were off and running. And you know what? It was great! Seriously. I’d never been really convinced that running with someone else made running easier, but it really is true! The miles flew by as we talked about everything under the sun. Before I knew it we were back at the restaurant and enjoying pasta and Blue Moon and even more awesome conversations.

I’m so happy that I have a brand new running friend! The run really made me wish I had more training partners. I really enjoy running by myself, but sometimes running for hours at a time can get kind of lonely. Nobody wants to be alone with my thoughts for 4 hours. I think next training cycle, I’ll look into more group training opportunities.

Any tips for running with other people?

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