I had a funny phone conversation the other day that made me realize just how much my approach to running differs from those of my those of my friends who run “recreationally”. It went something like this.
“Hey, it’s getting kind of dark outside. I just wanted to make sure you’re still up to meeting up at the park for a run.”
I don’t care. It’s totally up to you.
“I don’t mind either. I’ve already gotten six miles worth of interval running earlier today so this will strictly be a hang-out run for me.”
Oh. Well, if you already ran today, we can skip it and do it sometime earlier on the weekend.
“Really? Okay. So you’re NOT running today? How about tomorrow or the next day?”
I’ll just wait ‘til we run again this weekend. It’s too boring to run by myself…
Hmmm. Can you all pick out which words were spoken by me and which were spoken by my female friend who is obviously not in marathon training? I know it’s a rhetorical question so I’m not going to answer that. But it got me to thinking, if I wasn’t “in training”, would my approach to running be the same as hers? Could I ever associate running strictly as a social event to be shared among friends? Does this difference reflect the fundamental dichotomy between recreational running and race training or is it simply a Venus and Mars thing?
I think these are all intriguing questions with very individual and personal answers. For me, when it comes down to it, I thinking running has always been and will always be an individual pursuit. This is not to say I don’t enjoy running with friends or with a big group. I’m all about using running to build stronger connections with people in all walks of life. What I’m saying is that, in my opinion, social running is an extension of personal running. If I’m not spending time alone out there on the road for training, for recreation, or even just for dissociation, then I don’t think I can enjoy the time I spend running with other people. Heaven forbid one day that I should restrict my running to only when called upon by others to run with them. I doubt I’ll even consider myself a runner when that day comes.
As far as my training goes, like some of you guessed, I’ve been putting on too many fast miles lately. As a result, my marathon training has been thwarted somewhat by a kinda, sorta injury that I’m trying to R.I.C.E. through. I think I’ll be okay. I’m just warning you all that my weekly update will be rather lame this week. Just F.Y.I. Have a good weekend everyone!