September 13, 2009

It's Official. I Cannot Run Alone.

I am not one of those social butterfly types. I actually prefer to be alone most times, and most activites I enjoy tend to be solo-type activities. I love going out with friends every once-in-a-while, but truly enjoy my quiet nights at home.

What does all of this mean (besides the fact that I am the odd, reclusive type)? It means that running should be a great activity for me. It is not a team sport. It is an opportunity to free yourself and clear your mind. It is a way to burn off steam and feel empowered. But when I run by myself I get a little crazy in the head. I think too much about running. I think about every step I take, and every breath I take. I think about how far I have run, and how far I still have to go. I think about my pacing, my stride, how loose or tight my form is. I think about how much it irritates me when someone runs right past me. I think about getting a coffee and a pastry as soon as I finish. I cant seem to find that freedom that so many others do.

BUT ... when I run with someone else that changes. I dont notice the miles tick by. I dont think about my movement and my breathing. I feel strong. I feel like I could go longer. I (almost) forget that I am even running at all. And the funny thing is, it can be a silent running partner. I dont need to chat or bond. I just need that person next to me. I need to match up to their pacing, hear their breathing and the sound of their shoes hitting the pavement. I think perhaps I am more like a clydesdale horse, falling into the rythem of the guy next to me. Or maybe I should be in the military.

Either way, running with someone makes me love running. It makes me see the joy behind the sport. And some suggest I trail someone else when I'm out for a run, or in a race. But I really like to run next to someone. If you were in a race, and the whole time this person just silently ran next to you ... picking up speed when you did and dropping speed when you did ... wouldnt you think it was a big strange? Personally, if someone did this to me I'd either think they were 1) irritating or 2) stalking me. Imagine trying to ditch this shaddow and not being able to, as they insist on keeping in stride with you regardless of your efforts. Creepy, right?

Training Log
Time:54:54   Distance:5 mi   Pace:10:51

See what I mean? The other day I ran a bit less than four and my pace was much slower. I had to stop and walk (but didnt today) and felt tired the whole run (which also didnt happen today). There is one notable difference - besides the running partner - today's run was first thing in the morning. I have always done better and felt better with an early morning run. As the day progresses I get more tired, and I also have to run after eating a bunch of junky food (which I cannot stop myself from doing, I tried). Fastest mile was mile 2 at 10:35, second fastest was mile 5 at 10:45.


Jess said...

It is a nice distraction to run with others, and finding what works for you is a good thing! Nice job on the 5 miler.

meanjean said...

Good work on the 5 miler! I'll run with you when I come home!