A week ago, I joined Art for a 9 mile run. Alone a 9 mile run would have been close to torture for me because my mileage hasn't increased as planned so it was a pretty big leap. And I was sick...and tired....and too busy...and blah, blah, blah....all my usual excuses when I need to run a distance that is harder than usual and running by myself.
But with a friend, nine miles was just enough time to get caught up, learn a few new things (can't wait to read the book he mentioned!), and also get in a great run. Close to the end, Art remarked something like, "Just like two heads are better than one. Four feet are better than two." I must agree. Time flies and miles pass quickly when you are having fun. Running is fun(ner) with friends!
This isn't any new concept in running - but it is new for me. I ran alone for most of my first 12 years. Running partners were hard to find, schedules were tough to coordinate and I was nervous about showing off my lack of speed to anyone else. In the last year, through this blog and now through our online community, Runners Lounge, I have found my running missed out all those years. If I had found a good running partner years ago, I wonder what more I may have accomplished with my running.
This weekend, Tom and I were in Chicago for the Expo for the Shamrock Shuffle. 30,000 runners ready to run a great 8K to kick off the racing season. And the most common thing we found is that most were running with a friend, had been talked into it by a friend or told the friend to register. Friends help friends run races!
If you have a run or race coming up and you feel dread, worry, concern creeping in - grab a friend. Find a running partner to run with. You will be amazed how easy the run becomes.
And if you can't find anyone in your physical area, find a friend in the Lounge. Go to Connect with Runners and Search Profiles. You can search by age, gender, location, favorite runs, if they have a blog, years running or when they joined. Stop by and say hi to a few Loungers and see what you have in common.
Another way to connect with runners is through the Lounge Groups. Lounge Groups are created by other Loungers to talk about upcoming races, shared interests, or running challenges. A few of the Groups that have recently been added and need some members include:
- Dam to Dam - by me - Group for those running the Largest 20K in the US.
- Writers Who Run - set up by PinayRunner
- Graduate Students - set up by Frayed Laces
- Teachers Who Run - set up by bolese22
The greatest thing about running is the running community. I hope you find a chance this week to enjoy the company of another runner.