Thursday, June 3, 2010

Part of the Pack

For an extrovert that loves to socialize I am surprisingly a very
anti-social runner. 

In college I met running and we quickly fell in love.  I guess you could say our romance began as more of a secret love affair.  Running was my escape from the craziness of dorm life on a campus with 25,000+ students.  I didn’t know any other runners so it became my private retreat.  In the beginning I struggled and could only run for 15 – 20 minutes at a time.  The challenge of it drew me in even further.  I wanted to get better on my own. I would add on 5 minutes here and 5 minutes there.  Before I knew it I was running 7 miles at a time, and pretty quickly.

Still, running remained my secret little getaway.  All I had to do was throw on a pair of shoes and I was off to an hour of sweaty goodness.  I didn’t want anyone to run with me simply because I didn’t want to share.

Years have gone by since then and my love affair with running is no longer a secret.  I initially opened up when I met Angela.  She was the first person I encountered that loved running more than I did.  We bonded over our shared passion for the sport and I began to use the “me time” associated with running as “our time”. I didn’t give up my solo running entirely, just here and there for long runs and after-work runs.  When I let her in I quickly realized that it can be a pleasure to run with another person.  It seemed I had found my running soulmate; I guess that would make her my sole-mate. I finally grew as a runner because I was pushed by someone else for the first time.

Since this revelation that running can be just as great with others, I have been incessantly saying that I will join a group and meet fellow runners.  However, until a few days ago I still selfishly saved my runs for myself.

Tuesday night I met up with over 50 runners on the San Diego Bay and did a 5 mile group run. It definitely took a little pushing from Kim, a new friend of mine and client of Angela’s, but I did it. The 5 miles went by in the blink of an eye and get this, I had fun!  There was a great energy about the group and Ed, the organizer, was one of the most friendly and charismatic men I have ever met. By the time I finished the run I already had people saying “Go Kate!” as I finished.  It was like old friends.

                          

I have come to learn that runners are a special breed. To many people, putting one foot in front of the other for miles on end sounds like anything but enjoyable.  But, to us it sounds wonderful.  I was kicking myself for not going sooner.  How could I have sheltered myself from such a fabulous breed of people all these years?

I realize there is no sense in looking back.  I relished in every solo run and I will continue to take pleasure in them, but now I know there is a place where I can connect and let loose.  If you are a solo runner, like me, I would encourage you to challenge yourself to a group run.  I am willing to bet whatever group you find will be full of friendly faces that will gladly welcome you into their circle.  If there isn't one in your area try to start one.  Use www.meetup.com  to get started.  You'll be surprised by the number of people that will come out of the woodworks. 

What have you got to lose?

16 comments:

  1. Is that a random photo or are you taking it? because i don't see you or Angie.
    Also i love the messages in the sand.
    Nice blogging.....
    XOXO

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is a picture of the group I ran with. It was from a previous week, but it's the waterfront group. Ang didn't go, just moi.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I feel so special I made your blog-ola! I'm so glad you went with and I have to agree that there is something special about the group. That's why I knew you'd like it. Can't wait for next week.
    -Kim

    ReplyDelete
  4. it's nice how we throw in random words in French. If we do it enough we will always remember them.
    J'aime mon Kate plus que la vie. exécuter Kate exécuter

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  5. Great exercise Kate!

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  6. I'm reading your blog for the first time and I am hooked! Yes, hooked and motivated to run more...push myself as you do. Please don't stop blogging. I'll keep reading and running!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love when partners are also running partners. There is something nice about a solitary run. But being able to share running is really special. I bet you and Ang are stronger because you "get" this about each other.

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