Sunday, June 16, 2013

Runners are Friends You Haven't Met Yet



I am an introvert. I don't think this is bad or something I need to work on. It is just who I am. I have a tendency to keep to myself. I am not very social, but I love my close friends like they are family. I'm usually not too interested in making new friends, or small talk with strangers. Although, I'll admit that sometimes people surprise me. When I make new friends it is always an instant connection. I either click with people or I don't. I'm not generally interested in socializing outside my close circle of friends, simply because the small talk makes me uncomfortable.

It is probably why I have a blog. I like to express myself in writing. Socializing online is easy. I sometimes can't believe the support I receive from lovely people online that I've never met. If you are reading this and you think I mean you, I probably do. My online friends are so supportive of the things I do here. 

Probably because of my introvert personality, I never enjoyed team sports. I played softball as a child and hated it. I played tennis in high school and I think I excelled there because it is more of an individual sport. I liked playing singles. Running has always been the perfect sport for me. I didn't need a team. It was something I could do alone. It was something that I enjoyed doing alone.

Who wears loafers to play tennis? The 1990 version of me, apparently.
Joining a running group was the last thing I was interested in doing. That would require me to talk to strangers for long periods of time. When you are out there on the trails with a running group, there is nowhere to duck away, nowhere to escape, you are trapped in small talk hell. No, thank you.

I've always trained alone for my half marathons. But then I tried training for a full marathon on my own and it just didn't work out. There is something about mile 16 that I really started to dread. The runs were just so long and boring. I needed someone to talk to. I need a cheerleader and a support system. I needed someone to encourage me to keep going when my mind said no way. I decided that if I was ever going to be able to run a full marathon, maybe I needed to suck up this social thing and give a running group a try.

So for the last two Saturdays I have been running with a training group at Fort Worth Running Company. We are just beginning our training so the runs are still short distances. As our pace group ran together, the coach would talk through running techniques, or tips on clothing and energy fuel, but the conversation amongst the other runners was pretty quiet. Then the strangest thing happened. I found I was the one who was reaching out and initiating conversations with my fellow runners. This is not like me (at all). But there is something natural and easy about talking to other runners. We all have this love in common, we all have this same goal of running a marathon, and this pull to the pavement. I realized almost instantly that all my social fears were unfounded.  I should have known. Runners you don't know aren't strangers. Runners are just friends you haven't met yet.


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Keep Running,

Lea

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 photo credit: mikebaird via photopin cc

15 comments :

  1. I love that - "Runners you don't know aren't strangers. Runners are just friends you haven't met yet." So so true!

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  2. RUNNER MAKE THE BEST (AND MORE RELIABLE) FRIENDS! ;) That's SO true!!

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  3. Love this! I did a short run out and back today and ran into the same gal running the opposite direction - we both just smiled at each other :) both times!

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  4. I'm pretty much exactly the same way. Glad you're enjoying your running group. :)

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  5. I'm very much the same way but can meet up with runners and running bloggers with no problem! Someone told me we can open up more with runners because we are not eye to eye

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    1. interesting! I never thought of that but it makes perfect sense! :)

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  6. I'm just now getting into the fitness scene...I need so running buddies! When my legs start burning I start walking! I need someone to run along side me and encourage me!

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  7. I totally agree! GREAT post! :)

    karen
    tradingheels.com

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  8. Totally agree and love this post! I have found some awesome new friends that I never would have met without running. It's our girl time, I look forward to it!

    Btw, which marathon are you running?

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    1. I am training for the Dallas marathon in December

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  9. I love this - Runners you don't know aren't strangers. Runners are just friends you haven't met yet.

    It's so true. I'm not exactly an introvert but the older I get the less likely I am to venture out of my comfort zone - but when I run races, I am all about chatting it up with people, hearing their story, & cheering on everyone.

    Running brings the best out in people.

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  10. Glad to hear you've joined a group! Maybe I'll see you on the trails sometime. My group, the Ranch View Gang, runs those same trails every Saturday starting from Hoffbrau on University. We often cross paths with the FWRCo group.

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  11. Oh, and I totally understand about the team sports thing. That's why the 90's version of me was a skater.

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  12. I too always moved toward individual activities(ice skating, skiing, running, weight training), but in my case it was because I am HORRIBLE at team sports that involve hand eye coordination! I truly was always the last one picked for a team in gym class!!

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