Monday, June 24, 2013

the running buddy conundrum

to run, or not to run with a buddy. that is the question.

i've always been good with running on my own. i like the time to myself - it is really one of the few moments in life that i actually take just for me. i like the time to think or not to think, to be able to stop or ease or pick up the pace at my leisure. running on my own is a treat, not something i dread or look down on with lonely shame.

but there are those days when i just want the company of someone next to me, stride by side. for the longest time, the only person i would ever run with was my sister. even though i ran next to plenty of folks in high school, as i got older, i found myself intimidated to run with anyone else. my sister was my only comfort zone and even that took some warming up. 

and this was good for awhile until i started dating my boyfriend. brandon and i both had a passion for running but i was too scared to run with him. we'd make plans to run or train together and then i'd cop out last minute with some lame excuse just because i was being a chicken.

why? because there are so many elements that can go into a run - so many unknowns and many of them can be socially awkward and embarrassing. will i be in a funk today? will i have to walk? can i keep up with this person? will i be slowing them down? will they be slowing me down? what if i have to stop and walk? oh gosh, what if i have to stop and use the bathroom?! what if i can't stop to use the bathroom?? what if i get the running farts? oh please don't let me get the running farts ...  [insert panic attack here]

this is why the thought of finding a new running buddy is so scary... sharing the running farts or sudden bathroom issues with my boyfriend was hard enough... now think about sharing that with a complete stranger? i'd rather do mile intervals, thanks. 

but there are days when i'd really like a solid running buddy, or buddies, to pound the pavement with. my sister and my boyfriend are awesome and i'm glad i have them to run with, but i'm missing part of what made me fall in love with running in the first place and that's the feeling of being part of a team, or a group; a circle of people to feel accountable for, to share the ups and downs with. i loved this about cross country and it is the one thing that i miss about my running life as it exists now. 

i've decided to be more open to the thought of finding a running group/buddy in the area, but its harder than it sounds. i recently joined the local track club, so i'll start there first. who wants to be my running buddy? :)

i'd love to hear from you all: how do you feel about running buddies? do you have one? or are you a lone wolf? do you worry about socially awkward and embarrassing run moments like i do?


  1. Hahaha! Cracking up at this, because it's so true! I had to overcome a LOT of fear to join my training program and track club for these reasons.

    There aren't many people at my (slow) pace, so I don't always have people running with me.

    It can go either way for me. Sometimes I worry they'll judge me or I'll hold them back if I have to walk. Or I'll feel socially awkward because it's hard for me to talk while running and I hate creating awkward silence.

    Sometimes, however, if I'm feeling good during the run, I'm able to breathe enough to chat and it makes the time fly! Those are the best!

    It varies for me, but I do find running with others fulfilling overall. :)

  2. YES! I totally forgot about the social requirement of talking... that's another thing. I don't always want to be chatty! And it is hard to run and talk at the same time! Its such a hard balance to find, unless you run with someone who knows you well and understands you. That's why its so much easier to stick to my sister and boyfriend :)

    I always love reading your posts about your experiences with the group you run with. It is one of the motivators to get me to be more active with the local track club!

  3. I totally feel you! There are just so many things that could happen and its hard to think that people would actually understand if we have to cut short or whatever.

    Thanks for stopping by - I'm looking forward to checking out your blog!

  4. I will have to get over my fear and run with you Andrea, but it won't be easy! Especially since we want to crush the same half marathon time!

    It absolutely makes sense that we're all runners and go through the same thoughts/experiences, but for some reason, my fear makes that idea totally irrational! Funny how that works.

    I have to think of it a bit like dating. We'll start things off slow, how's that? :)

  5. Your positivity and love for your running buddies is exactly what makes me want to try having a buddy out so badly. I think I just need to suck up my fear and try a group out in a very small, non threatening way (somehow)!

  6. I love running with people now but I still get intimidated with new people! My best ever run buddy moved a few hours away and I miss her - although she did pace my SF half marathon PR and that was awesome! I hope you find someone. :)

  7. Summer @ Running with PixiesJuly 14, 2013 at 11:23 PM

    I use to run with my sister when we lived next door to each other. I liked it. We would run and chat and the mileage will fly by. We ran well together and could read each others cues. I've tried running with my hubby and he just makes me mad. ;) And my mom but she is a lot slower then me.
    Now I run alone, but I have been struggling with it. I like the alone time, but I find I get bored and lose my motivation.

  8. I'm sorry that you're missing your running buddy! I can't imagine what that would be like, if you're used to having someone by your side. Hopefully you can find a buddy who is close that can temporarily take your sisters place :)

    Running with significant others is an experience. I've had many a grumpy run with my boyfriend because of different views on running or routes or miscommunication. So fun! Haha

  9. I could be your running buddy from afar :) I don't consistently run with someone but when I do the time flies by much faster. Somedays I need to run alone (usually if I'm feeling emotional about something) but on the long runs when the sun is blistering hot or snow is covering the ground I could really use the company!

  10. Yay for virtual running buddies!

    I never thought about it from the time going by faster with a buddy...


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