The Loneliest Number?

My running, aside from in a 5K, has been mainly a solitary activity.  I know not everyone runs that way: running groups, running partners, races, internet forums–running can be very social.  But, for me, the moment other feet hit the pavement around me, the comparisons start. He’s  faster, she’s not as sweaty, they’re breathing more easily. Her form is better, his shoes are nicer, their bodies are less lumpy. They’re real runners. I’m not.

I”ve been asked to run with a dear friend who has completed a few marathons. I’ve been asked to run with a bunch of high school friends who have a lovely, supportive running group. My answer has been the same. No, thanks, I’d hold you back. I can’t keep up. I’d slow you down. (Thinking: You’d find out I shouldn’t even be using the term “runner” to apply to myself.)

When I run alone, I’m free from the comparisons. When I run by myself I feel powerful, strong, accomplished. I put on my gear, pop in my earbuds, start up my tracking app, and go.  And for the next 40 or so minutes the conversation in my brain is positive. I can do this; I can keep going. That’s a little sore, but I’m fine. I can make it. Yes, I worry about pace and improving. But only in line with how I did on my last run. When I ran a 5K under 43 minutes, alone, it seemed like a huge accomplishment. It WAS a huge accomplishment for me. But when I ran a 5K in 40 minutes, and placed 600-something out of a thousand something, it was hard to keep that accomplishment in perspective.

It’s a shame really, because the running community has always been nothing but supportive. During my first 5K last year, when I had strep throat and a bronchial infection, but didn’t know it it yet, two women, who were total strangers to me, ran back on the course to find me (dead last) and run me in, encouraging me all the way. Last weekend, at my first 5K since I began re-training a few months ago, a whole line of runners who had completed their race cheered me along to the finish line “Push it through!” “You’re doing great!” “Almost there!” And they gave me that extra something I needed to sprint to the finish line for my best time ever. The running community is awesome.

Maybe someday I’ll feel legitimate enough to consider myself a part of it.  For now, I’ll listen to my music, encourage myself, plan my day’s to-do list, ponder what to wear tomorrow, and keep running…alone.

Advertisements

3 Responses to “The Loneliest Number?”


  1. 1 aregularcupofjo May 23, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    I have been the same way with running. I just wanted to do it on my own because I hate competing with others. But recently, I started running with my girlfriend and it has been amazing. We have pushed each other and never judge one another for our paces. I think the best thing we can do is find someone who is supportive. We don’t need to compete with one another, just push each other and be supportive. Congrats on all your running and keep up the great work 🙂

  2. 2 Visitar Pagina July 7, 2013 at 1:27 am

    I got this web page from my buddy who shared with me regarding this site and at the moment this time I am
    visiting this web site and reading very informative articles at this place.

  3. 3 babydollsbloggie July 16, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    Running is a solitary sport, regardless if your an elite athlete are a newbie. I have felt *exactly* the same way. Stats from my first major race, that I had trained three months and ran over 100 miles for:

    7,455 overall
    2,858 female
    438 age division

    It’s just…depressing. But also? It’s just information. Sort of like advice for life: run your own race. Play your own game. Be YOU. And your ‘you’ is the shit.

    I am incredibly inspired to read about your running, Lo. Keep up the good work!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




Lori

A blog about my life and other stuff.

Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song,
A medley of extemporanea;
And love is a thing that can never go wrong;
And I am Marie of Romania.

Dorothy Parker, Not So Deep as a Well (1937)


%d bloggers like this: