Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Pros and Cons of a Running Partner

So I have been running three times a week for 4 months now and so days I run by myself and some days I run along side some one else. For me, my personal preference is to run as part of a group but alone. Here are the pros and cons of this relationship for me:

  • Someone to talk to
  • Someone to pace yourself with
  • Someone to complain about "why are you running, how much running sucks and how damn hot it is" (sorry for the language, but those are the things we say)
  • A great way to learn about someone (for some reason you share a lot intimate info while running)
  • A feeling of safety (you don't worry about that noise in the woods or the creepy guy walking the other direction when someone else is with you)


  • You feel obligated to keep pace (no matter what your strength, pain, comfort level is that day, you feel obligated to keep up)
  • You feel obligated to slow down (our partner needs to walk, stop for water, use the port-a-potty, etc you feel like you should wait for them

Now although the pros far outweigh the cons, the two cons are so big. For example, last weekend (and I know it was really hot) I ran with a partner. Some who I've run with before and always enjoy running with. Well, last week neither of us were motivated to run, so we both walked more than we should and finished 18 miles in 4 hours (today I did 16 in 3:17 - much more realistic). Today though, he decided to run solo (fine with me). He started out way faster than I feel comfortable with (I usually start out very slow as to sustain my energy) an of course by mile 12 or 13 he was walking. He finished at least 15-20 min after me (I had already completed my stretches).

But there were many times today that if someone had said to me, lets walk I would have. Instead I ran all 16 miles without stopping for water, the bathroom, the water stops (I bring it with me) or the need to walk. I sure had a desire, but I knew that I could make it all 16 miles and that it was all in my head to get over the mental hurdle and run the whole thing. In the end, I am very glad that I did and proud of yet another run under my belt! Next Sunday is the long 20 mile race - the peak of my training schedule. I'll have to admit, I am a bit scared and nervous for next week. Lets just hope for cool temps and cloudy skies!

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