Running has become a time that I really enjoy. I usually run alone, sometimes with music or podcasts playing. It’s “me time” – time where I don’t need to think about anyone else but the path ahead of me.
That’s why 6 months go when my friend Robyn put out the call for friends to run her first 8k with her, I hesitated. Run with someone else? Of course I’ve seen those kind of runners on my own runs – running buddies who seem to be chatting effortlessly while running. What!?!
See, although I consider myself a runner now, it’s still not easy for me. The first mile is usually still a challenge to get through, especially when I haven’t run for several days. I breathe hard.Can you run and talk at the same time? I didn't think I could! Click To Tweet
So although the distance of an 8k wasn’t necessarily the challenging part, running with another person was the part I felt challenged by. As an introvert, I could do things all day, everyday by myself and not notice that I haven’t spoken to another person all day. This tendency isn’t healthy though and I know it. It takes extra effort for me to actually reach out and set up a time to see friends, but I’m never sorry after I do it. It’s always life-giving.
So I told Robyn that I would run the race with her and we signed up in June.
Training for this 8k was not as strenuous as training for the Broad Street Run which is 10 miles. An 8k is 5 miles, and definitely challenging for me, but not to the same extent.
The majority of my training was running at least 2 miles twice a week. The last few weeks I increased the mileage by a half mile each run. I never completed a 5 mile run before the race. The longest run I did was 4 miles the week before the Rothman 8k.
As for running with another person, Robyn and I only ran once together before the race. Robyn and I both have 3 kids and with our hectic lives that’s what we could manage. When we did run together though – it was fun!
Running with Another Person
I know Robyn frequently runs with other people so before we set off I nervously checked in with her about how we would do this.
Me: “Um, I usually run with headphones and music on.”
Robyn: “Sure that’s fine. We can run together with our headphones on or we can talk. Whatever you want.”
Hmmmm, what did I want?
I wanted to be able to run and chat with a friend, but I had never tried it.
We ran a little over 3 miles that day and talked the whole time. It was great! Robyn and I have kids that are all roughly the same ages. We’re in the middle of a very involved high school application process for our oldest sons and commiserated about the process. We caught up about the rest of our children, my husbands, our churches. It was life-giving.
The race was on 11/21 at 7:30am starting on the Parkway near the art museum. Robyn and I met another friend, Meredith, who was running the race as well.
One of the best things about running races is being able to run in the middle of the street – you get to see the city from a whole new perspective. There’s always a friendly and excited feeling in the air before, during, and after races that I really enjoy.
Robyn, Meredith, and I kept ourselves at a slow but steady pace. We only stopped and walked once to drink some water halfway through. We didn’t chat during the race – we each listened to our playlists and focused on the road ahead of us, but there was a sense of companionship that was nice.
At around mile 3.5 I had to step up the pace because of a sudden need to find the nearest port a potty, which turned out to be at the finish line. I left Meredith and Robyn and finished a little ahead of them at a little under an hour. I was so preoccupied with finding the nearest port a potty that I missed my chance to give our mayor a high-five at the finish line!What new challenge will you accept this month? Here is mine from last month. Click To Tweet
So whether it is the distance (8k vs. 5k, Half marathon vs. 10 mile run), or another factor (like running with friends), I’m still learning how good it is to accept challenges and try new things. My preference will always be to run solo most of the time, but now I know that I can run and talk to a friend at the same time! Both are life-giving!
What new thing can you try in the next few months?
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