Wednesday, June 10, 2015

WWU - Trying to Keep Up

It's no secret that I prefer running with friends over going solo, but finding a running buddy with a pace that is the perfect match is a challenge.  In all of my years of running, I've never run as well with someone as I have with my original running buddy, Jenny - our strides were the same length, and we'd just naturally fall into step together, which made for good runs.  Not effortless - but we were able to stay together, and I know that was a big part of me getting hooked on running.

Unfortunately, running caused Jenny too much foot and leg pain, so she had to stop.  And I had to find new running buddies.  By that point, I was a member of my running club, so there were quite a few women who I was able to run with - and I've appreciated each and every one of them - way too many to try and name, but if you've been a long-time reader, you've seen me mention them over the years.

Over the last month or so, I've gotten a little slower (the heat and humidity are impacting my pace big time), and it's been even more challenging to run with my friends - not only are they faster than me, but they're taller, and all of that combined for a rough run on Saturday.  I know my friends were trying to go slower, and I was trying to go faster, but I was just a bit off of their pace for most of the run and it felt like I spent most of the three miles trying to keep up with them.  In reality, I was only a few steps behind, but I was having to put out more effort than usual to stay there, and my brain was going into overdrive - not exactly berating myself for being slow, but trying to get it together and make myself run faster...which wasn't happening.  Running is such a fickle thing - here I'd had a great birthday run of 5.2 miles, then two days later I ran 2.5 miles with no doubtful feelings, followed by that Saturday run - blech.

And then, after about 10 minutes of recovery, we hopped in our cars, drove downtown, and had an excellent time at breakfast.  We even spotted a farmer's market several blocks away, and once we were finished eating we walked there to check it out.  So even with the rougher-than-normal run, the morning ended up being memorable for all the right reasons - time spent with good friends trumps pretty much everything.  Sometimes running isn't really about running, after all.


  1. Interesting. I think it is hard indeed to find someone who has exactly the right pace as you or me. When you find someone, like Jenny, you are very lucky. I think you should only try to keep up if it isn't causing injuries.

    It's one of the reasons I run alone, I am a slow runner and all the people around me that I know that run are faster than me. I wouldn't want them to slow down for me and I don't want to run beyond my limits to keep up.

    But I wouldn't mind having a great breakfast and visit the farmer market afterwards with them. You have a great running group!

  2. You're correct, they are hard to find. I've had one perfect running partner - had him for 8 years and have never had one since. I actually don't want someone during the week (besides who would meet me at 4:30 am lol!), but I have always wished I could find someone else for that Saturday longer run. I say, just be glad you have people who are willing to try to run with you and so what if someone is a few steps ahead or behind. Besides, you get the breakfast prize at the end!!

  3. I'm in awe that you run...and run on a regular basis! I've started walking and am not really enjoying it at all. But the women I walk with have the same pace as me, so that's a positive I hadn't noticed before. Thank you Shelley!

  4. I couldn't agree more with you Shelley - it's like going to a birthday party and going there with the change to catch up with friends and family and not what's on the dinner table.

    I sometimes walk with a woman at work who is 6 feet tall, and even though we are walking the same pace, I have three steps to her one so I did feel like I was trying to catch up with her, even though we were side by side the whole time. :D

  5. I can relate - when I walk alone I think I'm doing AWEsome, but when I walk with my husband and/or 19-year old daughter, I scramble to keep up with them. You're right, though - sometimes it's about the camaraderie, too...not just the run!

  6. There is a lot to be said for camaraderie. John and I are lucky that our biking abilities are actually pretty similar, maybe surprisingly so. Any other riders are too fast for me or they are only recreational riders and the pacing just doesn't work at all. One of the reasons I don't do group rides very often.

    There are those days where John or I just is having an off day and the other one needs to go slower, but it's the companionship. Not that I don't enjoy my solo rides, though. I am a lone wolf a lot of times and enjoy riding miles by myself, but nothing beats a cupcake ride with John!

  7. I enjoy running solo, but then I read a post like this and I think, "Man, I really need to find some running buddies!"

  8. Ooh, I like that. "Sometimes running isn't really about running, after all. "

  9. I would LOVE to run with someone. I have people that run but they all run faster than I I feel like I'm always chasing them down and I feel like they are running circles around me in an effort to stay with me as I slog forward. So I end up running solo most of the time and that makes me kinda sad. :-(


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