Having a running buddy is a GAME CHANGER.
I ran my first and most recent half marathons with coworkers. I ran my full marathon alone. The difference is amazing. Running the Marine Corps Marathon was distracting enough because of all the sights and I was really just soaking up everything around me, but the half marathons were different, especially the smaller ones.
When you’re running a more local race, the crowds are smaller and its a much bigger mental race. You need to distract yourself, be it music or podcasts or audiobooks (see how I typically distract myself in my previous post here). What I love more than any of those methods is having a friend next to me. Even if we’re running in silence, the company is so much better.
In high school, I joined the winter indoor track team to get in shape for spring lacrosse. I wasn’t interested in racing, I just wanted to build my endurance. At our first meet, I told the girls on my team that they better stay with me otherwise I knew I would get bored (selfish I know). We all were together for the first lap of the mile but then split up, but that didn’t stop me from talking to the girls next to me on the track. I talked the whole 6-minute-something-second race. I even LAUGHED. After the race some of the kids on the team asked if they saw me correctly because there was no way I was laughing during the race.
I am always trying to trick my sister, roommate, or friends into signing up for a race. “We can train together! Let’s go for a run, ” I’ll tell them. (If you haven’t read it already, Kelly Robert’s blog post on convincing your friends to sign up for a race with you is on point)
Most recently, my friend texted me out of the blue asking “wanna run a half together”, and my sister texted me that she wanted to run a 5k! It took less than a week for me to find a race and her to come visit for a run 🙂
We ended up running the Shore A.C.’s Ron Zinn 5K. One of my friends and her boyfriend joined us and it was so nice to have a group of us running together!
I can’t wait for the next one. Do you have any races planned with friends?