Let’s get one thing straight. I run alone. Always. Except in college when my roommate and I ran together. But that was 25 years ago. Now, I run alone. That way I don’t worry about slowing someone down, holding them back, or creating negative self-talk when I can’t keep up.
Yesterday a friend I’ll call Steve* Facebooked me to ask when I was going on my next long run. He probably noticed my bragging Status Update about trimming time off of my 8 mile run. He asked me a few other questions, which I answered. But I strategically ignored the “when is your next long run” question thinking he wouldn’t notice and drop the subject. A few comments later Steve wrote, “so when is your next long run?” I used Facebook’s private email feature to explain that he is a faster runner than I and he would probably get frustrated going on a long run at my pace. That’s not negative talk, it’s simply the truth. Steve pressed on, telling me that he doesn’t care how slow we run, he just wants to put in the miles as he trains for a half-marathon.
I’ve known Steve a long time and he says what he means, so I emailed him my Saturday mileage plans for the next few weeks. We are meeting this Saturday for a 10-miler. We’ll be on a green way I’ve never run before. And this will be the first time I’ve run with a buddy in 25 years. I’m sort of glad that Steve didn’t take my dodge, because after obsessing about this for 24-hours, I now view Saturday’s run as another opportunity to step farther out of my comfort zone. I’m going to set my pace and trust Steve to be satisfied with it. And I plan to enjoy the company.
*Name has not been changed.