Wednesday, May 30, 2007

My first running group effort

Usually when I run, I am on my own. It is rare, even, that I see others on the road. In an effort to try to make some running friends and get over my fear of always being the slowest, I decided to check out a regular run hosted by our local running store.

I didn't know what to expect, but I like all of the folks at the store and, in general, I want to support them. So I laced up my shoes and headed down there to see what I would find. I assumed I'd be in the mid to back of the pack, and would simply just enjoy the company, and the space to talk about running with any random person.

In reality, here's how it went: there were three of us total. The store owner, a really chatty guy, and me. I was the fastest, and ended up holding back to keep the small pack of us together. Definitely at a chat pace. We ran a route that I am very familiar with (a segment of the Ichabod Memorial 4.2 miler). Some running talk, but not a lot. The chatty guy talked a lot about his dog, who has bad manners. The store owner and I tried to help him realize that he needs to train his dog if he wants it to be any different.

We also talked about some local races, including a series that I am planning on participating in over the next few months. There's a prize of a jacket if you run enough races in the series. As a closeted jacket whore, the prospect of a free one is very tempting.

It was a lot of fun, and I would do it again. Very low key, and a really beautiful night. The only down side was that I forgot my Nano, and this didn't track any of the miles on the Nike+ thing. This was both a blessing and a curse; on one hand I wanted to track the miles as I am currently keeping track of monthly miles. On the other, it was nice to run just for the sake of the run, and not think about pace or distance.

This morning, when I went out for a shorter (3.2) mile run, I thought about what a difference it made to have someone to chat with as we were moving along. I liked it, and it definitely gave the run a friendly edge. So I'll be heading down to Runner's Alley again for another chance to run with the small group. Perhaps I can convince a friend or two to join...


mindy said...

One of my favorite quotes is from an article I read in Runner's World awhile back. More true words about the group run have never been spoken:
"In vino veritas. If there's truth in wine, then there's also truth in sweat. I've been lied to over lunch. I've been lied to over dinner. I may--for all I know--have been lied to in bed. I don't believe I've ever been lied to on a long run. Quite the opposite. Distance compels an alarming level of candor. Sit around with neighbors and you hear about lawn care and how to get that toddler into Harvard. Run 10 miles with the same armor-plated acquaintance and you'll find out how his father died, or whom she's always loved."

Mr. Satan A. Chilles said...

That is one great quote.

In Philly we used to call it 'running therapy', too. And sometimes I yak my head off on a run (when I have company, of course!). Somehow when you're talking away the truth just rolls right out.

Well, I'll say it again, that is a great quote.