Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Run with Frank

The majority of my running is done by my lonesome.  I have friends to talk with about running afterwards, but the actual act of running is done alone for probably 90% - 95% of my runs.  I'm not going to bother getting an actual statistic by going back through all my runs, because even I'm not that obsessive.  Since I have run 18 times so far in 2012, and today was my first time running with someone that makes it 94% so far this year.

Frank at the River to Sea relay last year
getting ready for his first leg
Today I ran with Frank. When I started running 3 years ago, I often turned to Frank for advice since he was a seasoned runner, having already run for many years including around 10 marathons? (+/- 2) He is definitely an inspiration to me.  He is also faster than me, naturally competitive and slightly crazy, which is of course awesome. But lets get back to running with friends in general. There are lots of positives to running with a friend:

1. It's a motivator to do the run in the first place.
2. You get to catch up with your friend. 
3. The time goes by a lot quicker.
4. It's a welcome change from the usual routine.
5. You can push each other during the run.

Unfortunately, there can also be some things to watch for.  Especially if your friend happens to be faster than you. Here are the things to be aware of:

1. Since you are catching up and thus talking the whole time, what may be an easy pace can becomes quite hard when you are talking the whole time.
2. What is easy for your friend, may not be easy for you. So you shouldn't be planning on an easy day of running and should adjust accordingly.
3. Some friends are more competitive than others. Some friends have a way of bringing out the competitive side of you as well.  What may have started with a moderate pace may end in a much faster tempo by the end of the run. You might be thinking, "It's OK, I'm just going to pick it up a bit", but before you know it you are pushing pretty hard on your easy day.  Part of you says, "Just slow down and let your friend go.", but then another part says "What's wrong with you, this isn't that fast, enough with the excuses, pick it up!" The run ends with your heart pounding like it was a race and you wonder what just happened to your easy day?

In the end though, it's of course totally worth it and there is no question that the pros out weigh the cons. Perhaps what I need most of all is an adjustment of my expectations and relaxing a bit and not being such a control freak when it comes to my pace and my routine.

There is one last thing I'd like to say about Frank.  He mentioned that he also started a running streak, conveniently one day before me so he has always run one more day than me in a row. Of course that won't be true if he ever misses a day and I don't.  Just putting that out there.  I'm not being competitive, just stating some facts :)


  1. It was great to get out and catch up with you on a run my friend. Sorry about the pace. I didn't actually mean to increase the pace later in the run... it just kind of happened. I also didn't know, or remember that you were anticipating an easy run. By the way, I may have your streak beat by one day, but your weekly mileage is higher than mine. I'm looking forward to our next run man!

  2. It was a good run. When it comes down to it, I'm just a big complainer :) Like I said, I think it's OK for me to not be so obsessive about my pace all the time. I went a bit harder than I was expecting but it felt good so no problem. I wouldn't be able to do that every day though. I'm looking forward to next time, too!