I’ve got a dedicated runner friend who asks me every spring if I’m training for the AJC Peachtree Road Race.
The answer varies. Some years I’ll get started at application time in March and other times April and even May have passed before I begin training. And by training I mean putting on running shoes and using them.
I can’t imagine it would be much fun for my friend to run a slower three miles just for the pleasure of my company for 30 minutes or so. It definitely wouldn’t be fun for me to try to keep up with his usual pace.
But I understand why people run in pairs or packs. If you run with someone a little faster that can help push you to do a little better than you thought you could. That’s how it worked for me in 1979, when I finished with my best time ever.
I’ve mentioned my friend Kathy (in the photo) a couple of times in earlier blogs. We ran three Peachtrees in the early 2000s. For our first Peachtree, we started training in January. That was the last time before this year that I really prepared for the race.
Kathy’s knees were a constant ache, during both training and on July 4th. As a result, she was the only running partner I’ve had that I held back for. She often urged me to run ahead, but I wasn’t that interested in taxing myself anyway. And someone had to stop long enough to take some photos.
I’ve had a couple of offers from friends this spring to join them in runs. One wanted to run four miles to Turner Field and then take in a Braves game. I’m sure the fans in the adjacent seats would appreciate that.
Commenting on an earlier post, my friend Dan challenged me to a three-mile race through Candler Park. He’s the dedicated runner friend. We’ll “race” the day he agrees to the handicap of pulling my friend Kathy in a rickshaw.
I’ve run a lot of miles over the years, including about 124 in the last 20 Peachtrees. Almost always I’m on my own. Twenty times I’ve had 54,999 running partners.
Are you a social runner? Or do you prefer to keep the sweat and sprains to yourself?