Since I began running, just 2 1/2 years ago, I’ve had many folks offer to run with me. Some were trying to be supportive, and help me over whatever hump I needed to get over. Others were just good friends who wanted to be with me and have fun and again, be supportive. And a few runners I met last month, just wanted another person to run with, or were trying to get a running group together, so wouldn’t I like to join them?
Here’s the thing: If I HAD to run with other people, then I probably wouldn’t run at all. I’m too self-conscious, too worried that I sound and look like I’m dying (or look like a wounded giraffe, because in fact I do). I can’t talk while I run. I’d want to go as fast as you and would hurt myself doing it. Or I’d feel bad that you had to slow down for me.
I know there are many advantages to having running partners or groups, but right now I am trying to do things that would NOT make me feel bad about myself. And honestly? Running with another person would have the opposite effect of what you, my fellow running friends, intend. You’d want to be supportive and encouraging, but all you’d do, completely inadvertently mind you, would be to make me feel inferior.
Would I still run in the same race as you? YES! Would I still go shopping for running shoes with you? OF COURSE! Would I still want to talk about running and all the joys and heartbreaks that go along with it? FOREVER AND EVER UNTIL MY TONGUE FALLS OUT! Would you just try and run a few miles with me? Just once? *SIGH* I’m sorry, but no.
You probably think I’m nuts, and that’s completely ok. I think that sometimes, too. I appreciate every single request to run with another person. I feel honored, in a way. I want to shout, “You like me, you like me!” And if you feel the need to keep asking me to run with you, that’s ok, too. But if I turn you down for the hundredth time, just remember that it’s not you, it’s me.
I am totally, absolutely, 100% in agreement with you. I am INCREDIBLY self-conscious about my running. I like to think that maybe someday I’ll get over it when I’m not stumbling along at a 14:20 pace, but then again, maybe I won’t. 🙂 I even choose to run on a less-popular section of our rail trail — not so quiet that I feel unsafe, but quiet enough where I don’t see too many people.
A good friend of mine recently took up running too, and she and I did our first 5k “together” a few weeks back. We started out together, but eventually she moved ahead, finished about three minutes ahead of me, and waited for me at the finish line. That was pretty much the level of “together” that I was comfortable with, and I was so grateful that she felt the same way!
Even though I don’t run as well or as often as you, I know what you mean. I walk more than I run tho and I have had a couple offers to have a walking buddy, but even with that I’m like “Nah, that’s ok.” I am the type that just wants to put the headphones in and GO! I just walk during the day and save my running for night time when I know even less people will see me. I am still too self conscious to run during the day when someone might actually see me So don’t worry Holly, you’re not nuts and it’s not just you, it’s me too (and others I’m sure) 😉
I use to power walk, as running doesn’t agree with my joints, but even then I preferred walking alone. I just enjoy the solitude, the feeling of the sun on me, the gentle breezes, the music of the rhythm of my feet on the pavement, nature sounds, and the power of feeling my body’s systems merge with nature to become one ,in the moment existence.
Pingback: Enjoy the Journey | See Holly Run