Running from a spectators POV, I would imagine, can seem quite lonely. However, in my very limited experience, I have found running to be quite the social affair.
I’m not going to lie….when I was training for my 2nd ever marathon this last spring I was feeling pretty lonely, especially the 22 miler I ran in ND headwind, no trees, no music, no nothing….just the sound of my feet hitting the pavement, (which I love…don’t get me wrong, but 22 miles go by so much quicker when you have a few breaks of friendly conversation or the occasional pass by of my husband and the boys cheering me on).
In the past I would offer to run with a friend or my husband and I would get the comment, “I’d be holding you back!” or “Sure, I’ll call you or text” (there would never be a text). I thought I was just a geek about running…maybe no one else liked to just get out for the sake of getting out…but I have found that if you put the vibe out their…your running buddies will come…and they too will be equally as geeky as you.
It was in that moment when I sent my intention out into the universe of finding community in an otherwise seemingly lonely sport, that I found my “running family”.
All you runners out there can attest to the amazing people you find in the world of running. I have had more quality conversations, tear-jerking laughter, “twinsie” moments (I’m talking about the realization that you’re narcissistic because you love who you are running with and they could not be anymore like you then they are) on my long runs accompanied by a fellow runner.
I encourage anyone feeling lonely like I once did to try these tips…
- send your intention out there...it’s amazing what you will see come your way when you put into play the power of positive thought, (not saying it’s going to happen all the time…but, you’d be surprised)
- Be open-minded! I am new to running, not experienced in the world of racing, a novice in all things running terms…but I have found some of my greatest running buddies to be amazingly talented runners, some professional, and the common denominator of our love for running has united us.
- Be flexible; know that you can make “running-dates”, but life happens. I am a mom who runs so it is not uncommon for my boys to have a “stomach ache” or “lapse in mindfulness” and I am forced to move my run to another time….Sh*t happens, (sometimes literally) and you can’t let that one moment dictate your future runs.
- Have thicker skin/don’t take things personally; this one has been hard for me but important. In the past when I have tried to set something up running related I would get little to no feedback…in that moment it was hard not to feel defeated or want to give up. Once I had my pity party I would realize that 99.9% of the time it had nothing to do with me, others have lives too and they are equally as busy.
- Be persistent…if you want it push for it. I sometimes feel like I’m “stalking people” only to find out that they were secretly stalking me for a run (serendipity!). Again, people are busy, and runners a lot of the times are type A so they are REALLY busy. If you have your sites set on running with a particular person, and they too show interest, you might have to put in the effort to make that running date happen.
Thank you to all of my “running family” for making this journey worth while. Thank you to my running buddies who have pounded the pavement away with me while talking about all things from the most shallow of topics to pondering life’s design…I am so thankful that I have given myself the freedom to open up and connect with these individuals and feel honored that they do the same. I hope everyone feels the same way I do about fellow runners and a “runners” social life in general…because it can be pretty amazing!