I rarely run alone these days. I have a weekly group run on Thursdays (which always ends with a beer or two), and I have several friends who join me on my long runs on the weekends. And, perhaps most exciting of all, my husband has started joining me on most of my shorter runs during the week, and even stays right around my preferred pace…for the most part. All of this has made training for my upcoming half marathon a lot more fun.
But, it’s also gotten me thinking about the different rules my friends and I have for running together. Not sure what I mean? Let me explain.
On Thursday nights, we always try to pair up, and now that it’s dark before we even begin, we try to make sure anyone without their own light is running with someone who does have a light. We’ve got a wide range of paces, and yes, pairing up means that sometimes people have to speed up or slow down a little, but it makes for a fun, social run, and it’s easy for new people to join the group. Plus, it’s safe. I’m all for safety.
Personally, I’m a no-drop runner. If I’m running with somebody, I will not leave them. You want to walk or need a quick stretch? Cool, I’m game. If I have a run on my training schedule that I absolutely have to run at a certain pace, I’ll either go by myself or ask someone faster than me to join me. The fact of the matter is, it’s generally more important to me to enjoy the company of a friend than to shave a minute or two off of a training run.
My friend Sarah introduced a new rule to me this weekend. She does a good bit of trail running, and the group she runs with follows the rule that, if you trip and fall on the trail, you owe anybody who saw you a beer. I thought this was a great rule until I ate a good bit of dirt on today’s run—out of a 10-mile run, I covered about 7 feet of trail. I’ll give you two guesses as to where I fell, but you’ll only need one. Fortunately, nobody but a squirrel saw it, and squirrels don’t drink beer.
Of course, now I’m thinking about other fun rules I can come up with. Like, first person to spot wildlife gets a Gatorade? I don’t know, but I’m definitely working on it.
Do you run with other people? And, if so, what kind of rules do you follow? —Kristen