Antisocial athlete

“So, who do you run with?”

I feel like I get asked this question frequently, from both fellow runners and non-runners.  Honestly, right now, the answer is no one.  And I can’t decide whether or not this is a problem.

On the one hand…I do feel that I enjoy being a lone runner.  It’s my “me” time.  I enjoy my runs as a time to think and reflect and all of that other good stuff.

  • On the other hand…it’s not as if I don’t have time to do think and reflect otherwise.  I don’t exactly have a full time job these days.

But on the one hand…I like being able to run on my own schedule and follow my body’s own whims.  I am not one to followed structured training plans; when I feel like having a long run, I run long.  When I feel like doing a fast run, I run fast.

  • On the other hand…there is no better way to improve speed than by running with faster runners.

But on the one hand…I spent years and years running in a group.  Perhaps I actually prefer running alone?

  • On the other hand….who cares if you prefer running alone….if nothing else, you could use some post-run beer buddies!

Le sigh.  The idea of joining a running club has tempted me since we moved to New York last summer.  However…I fully admit that I am kind of chicken.  Afraid of what?  I am not sure.  Of giving up my totally-autonomous workout schedule?  Of having to commit to one or two or three group workouts a week?  Of getting out there and getting my butt kicked??  Of not even knowing where to start with the vast and complicated world of NYRR running clubs??

Okay, well, in any case, I’m going to blame the latter.  Because I don’t even know where to start.  Do I want a competitive club?  A fun club?  A running club with a drinking problem, or vice versa? A place where I could find some running friends – yes, please?  I am not exactly swimming in close friends these days.  At least not ones who live in the same city as me.

Obviously, I want it all.  I want to be challenged and run with runners who are faster than me, who will push me…but I don’t know if I want to commit to an ultra-competitive club.  Honestly…I am slightly afraid of joining a group whose talents far exceed mine and ending up a small fish in a big pond.  As narcissistic as it sounds, I’m not sure I’d enjoy being constantly at the back of the pack of a competitive club.

The whole club landscape is very overwhelming.  I kind of miss the Ohio days where joining a running club simple meant strolling in to your local running store.  Perhaps this is why I keep find myself running and training solo.

Which is not all bad.  It is, after all, my “me” time.  But I’m starting to think I could share it with others from time to time.

Today’s EAT:  A good friend from college was in town from abroad, so we ordered from classic NYC fare from Joe’s Pizza.  On top of a small salad for lunch and oatmeal for breakfast, I am trying to get back on track from the decadent holiday weekend!

Today’s DRINK: A couple of random bottles of wine consumed by the group…I’m not even sure what they were.  I think one was a Lindeman’s Chardonnay.  It is time for a major Trader Joe’s wine stock-up; we are empty!

Today’s RUN: Cross training and lifting day today.  I did a 45-minute spinning class followed by lower body weights (5X 10 reps each of weighted squats, dead lifts, lunges and quad presses).

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9 responses to “Antisocial athlete

  1. I think I am falling into the running alone group as well. When I run with other people I always feel the need to keep up or slow down or whatever and don’t seem to get a lot out of it. I wouldn’t mind a run or two a month with other people but don’t want the “have to” feeling of a club, so your not alone.

  2. I have lots of friends who run and always say lets get together for a run! But it never happens and for some reason I like my running alone “me”time, too. But, like you, I really enjoyed the friendships and bonds I formed in high school track and CC. In a nutshell, your post hit home with me! I think I have a fear of commitment, too.

  3. Haha that is so funny – I have looked into the NYRR running club list since I started running about 2 years ago. I feel the same way as you. Will I fit in? Will I be fast enough? Do I want to be the new girl? Maybe I should just get over it and join one this year..

  4. I get what you’re saying. People kind of exhaust me sometimes, and I like having me time, where nobody cares if I fart and listen to loud music.

    But, on the other hand, it would be nice to have Friends Who Run.

  5. you should give Nike Run Club a try – it’s free, you can go once in your life, four times per week, or sporadically – and make friends with people to run with outside of the group’s scheduled runs.

    check it out: http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=8428187553

    PS just found your blog and am loving it – nice to find another runner who’s into fooding, boozing and all that good stuff. 🙂

    • Yay for boozy foodie runners! Adding you to my reader too 🙂

      The Nike Club looks interesting….I like how you can just show up! I’ll give it a shot one of these days!

  6. Pingback: Believe in yourself « eat, drink, run

  7. I’ve always run solo (or at least, since high school). I find that having scheduled workouts that are hard to fit in make it tough to stay committed. And that thing about running with faster runners — that’s only true if they fit into a very special percentage: slow enough that you can still keep up mostly, but fast enough that it’s a challenge.

    Then again, if you do start, it’s not like you can’t return to running solo. I’d love to hear if you do decide to join a group!

    Thanks for the post.

  8. Pingback: eat, drink, run

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