I’m rediscovering the joys of buddy-running. You know…when you and someone you know agree to meet at a certain time and place and then together you go jogging off into the wild blue yonder sans earbuds. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good hour to myself with State of the Re:Union or 99% Invisible – but taking a run with someone else has it’s own unique set of pros and cons that I’d sort of forgotten about.
Good Looking (Out)
Back in “the day” I remember my mom always telling me to make sure I had a swimming buddy–someone who would look out for me, and who I would look out for in return–when we went to a community pool or a water park. One of the joys of a running buddy is mutual looking out. My RB Alexis has definitely pulled me away from oncoming traffic, and though I couldn’t reverse her fall, I was there to hug her and check her for broken bones when it happened.
Conversation Makes Time Fly
Chattering always makes the running time pass by faster than yes, even your favorite music or podcast. Letting your mind get wrapped up in thought allows for your mind not to be thinking about that big, freaking hill in front of you. I know, 50 minutes should be the same with or without someone. But it feels so much faster with. Especially when you’re having existential crisis like convos and helping each other through the art of living.
It would not shock me if my running buddies actually all live together on a small tropical island with sweet, rum filled tiki drinks, only leaving paradise when I need a swift jolt to get myself out the door. (I bet they ro-sham-bo to figure out who is going to partner up with me, too.) Having someone to run with is a sure fire way to make sure you actually hit the pavement. If I know Nessa is waiting, I’m not going to suddenly say, “You know, if I watch this episode of Parenthood right now from the comfort of my workout pants, no one will mind.” Because day-um, Nessa will mind.
Jealous? Want Your Own?
Finding a running buddy, especially if your friends are not the runnerly types, doesn’t have to be horrifyingly hard.
1) Craigslist. Go to “Activity Partners” section and peruse. You might be surprised. I’ve connected with a running buddy that way, and even though we don’t live in the same town anymore, we stay active on Facebook.
2) Dating Sites. I know. I KNOW. But seriously, OkCupid has an “Activity Partners” selection, and I did indeed meet a really nice guy to run with, who was indeed dating someone else he’d met on the site. And it was definitely a chaste experience (and not just because I explained my kidney-stent related fruit punch pee to him about fifteen minutes after we met).
3) Your Current Social Circle. Chances are you know someone who knows someone who runs. And chances are also that you know someone who wants to run. If you’re a novice yourself, or willing to train with someone for a few months to get them up to your speed, convincing a friend who is eagerly nervous to give running a try is another way to stop running alone.
I actually made a running buddy out of an old high school acquaintance. She sat in my section at a brew-pub I used to waitress at, and literally her and her brother goofily left me a note with her number and suggested running together. I later introduced her to the man who became her husband, stood up with her at her wedding, and remain close friends with her – all because we spent hours upon hours running a lake together, encouraging each other, and telling each other the tales of our lives.