Playing nice with others

Monday, April 2, 2012

I have a confession to make: Sometimes, I do not play well with others. I've written about this before, but I feel like it deserves revisiting. 

I have a hard time running with others. I think this is for many, many reasons:
1. I worry about holding him/her back.
2. I worry about him/her holding me back. 
3. I become too focused on the other person and what s/he is doing as opposed to what I'm supposed to be doing. 
4. I already do a group exercise (Jazzercise!) and I think I need a solitary activity. 
5. If I'm being really honest... I'm competitive. And sensitive. 

There are only a few people I can really run well with -- and it's because we have similar paces and styles and because I don't feel the need to be competitive with them (only me, duh). 

Case in point, a few weeks ago, Dan and I went for a run. Me? I've been running for three years and just recently finished a half marathon. Dan? He doesn't run. And eats cookies and pie for breakfast. Naturally, I overestimated how much I would impress him. 

So, Dan and I set off for our run. I left the iPod at home, and we took off at a conversational pace. I should also mention this was the day that the wind was gusting, like 28 mph gusting. Dan and I do our run, together, and at the end, he SPRINTS OFF LEAVING ME IN HIS DUST. 

I couldn't have caught him if I tried. And I know this, because I tried. 

On Saturday, I ran 7.5 miles by myself. And on Sunday, I was supposed to run three. Dan and I were going to try running together again. And he suggested we run five. I was dreading it. I dragged my feet for about thirty minutes. 

Dan: Do you not want to run together? 
Angela: No. I want to run together. ::shuffles around the kitchen picking up imaginary dirt::

Finally, I could avoid it no more. We set out. About half a mile in, I got hit in the face with a raindrop. 

Angela: It's raining! Maybe we should go back!
Dan: It looks like it will clear up. 
Angela: Oh. ::shuffles iPod to catchier song since it's obvious we're actually doing this::

I will spare you the details of the five mile run. I will tell you only that we both survived and I still felt good at the end of it. It didn't rain on us. There weren't 25 mph wind gusts. And we were both smiling at the end. But maybe one of us was smiling bigger. (I maintain that he stayed behind me on purpose.) 

So, maybe I was dreading it. But, in the end, it worked out pretty well. And maybe, just maybe, running all those miles this weekend helped me feel good again about running. 

I suppose I'm learning how to play nice with others. 


  1. This is sooo funny - I feel the same way. With the exception of #5, I'm not competitive. The only other person I did run with is my daughter. I wish my husband would run with me but he says he has a truck! I think one of my biggest fears of running with someone else is getting used to/dependant on that. Then when the other person doesn't feel good or can't go then I won't want to go. So, I do it alone, I depend on me & I decide if I run or not :)

    Since you are competitive it might help you to run with someone else to pick up your speed. You just have to know when enough is enough or you can learn the hard way like me...lol. You might also save some runs just for you when you need it.

    It sounds like you are back on track & feeling better & on spring break...what more could a girl want?

  2. I wonder about getting used to/dependent on someone else too! Like, if they say they can't go, I'll just think, "Okay, I won't go either!"

    You make a good point though about using some of my runs to increase my speed -- I REALLY need to focus on speedwork, but right now, the goal is just to survive half #2. I think this summer, I'll drop back down to 5k races and focus more on that.

    I'm feeling good about running again! It's a nice feeling! I'm supposed to run four today (or tomorrow), so I'm trying to decide which day would be better to do it. I suppose, if I were smart about this, I could run four on both! :)

  3. I still think about trying some things to speed up but try to remind myself that's how I get hurt & can't run at all! Surviving #2 is a good goal :) So, after running the Princess do you think you could've run another 1/2 marathon 2-3 weeks later? Mine is 5-19 and I'm thinking about Sunburst. I probably should just think about the 10K for that if I do it???

    I'm anxious to hear what you think about Indy Mini. I might think about that one next year but I'll wait for your report!

  4. Hmm... had I been in the right frame of mind... maybe. But my body and brain fried after the first, so I don't think I could've turned around that fast. If it were me, I'd probably go for the 10K at Sunburst.

    I'll definitely keep you posted on Indy! I've heard such great things about it -- I'm excited to run one in Indiana!

  5. I think you are right...I was briefly psychotic!

    I have only run in Indiana with the exception of the Progeria 5k in St. Joesph, MI I do every year. Disney Registration opens Tuesday`````6 more days!!! I'm really excited. I think I'll feel better once I have paid my money & secured my spot. I wish races had a registration countdown ticker so you could see how many spots are left before registration closes. I think they are just open until it maxes out & then, BAM!, it's closed. I think Chicago marathon sold out in 2 days - how crazy?

  6. I don't think you're psychotic! I think you're ambitious!

    Are you ready to sign up for Disney?!? When I signed up for the Princess Half, there was a ticker on the page that told me how full it was getting. It didn't give the numbers, but it did the percentage full. I agree though -- better to get in sooner rather than later!

    Enjoy your Easter weekend, Sherry!

  7. I am way ready to sign up for Disney! I thought registration would open in March but it doesn't open until 4-10-12. I feel like I've been waiting forever! Once I secure my spot I can just focus on running/training and trying to not get injured :)

    Hope you have a wonderful Easther too :)

  8. Hahahaha I'm grinning for ear to ear, pointing at your post, & wrinkling my nose, saying, "omg that's me too!"
    I think of those same things pretty much in that same order. I finally came clean with my hubby and told him, I run better when he's not there.
    I will add to your list: I can't stand the sound of pounding of his steps. Stupid right? It use to throw off my breathing. I felt like a herd of cattle where running next to me!

  9. How did your husband take it when you told him you did better running when he wasn't there? :)

    Pounding steps and deep breathing -- two other things I dislike! :)


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