Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Worst Running Friend Ever (that's me)

Yesterday I was supposed to go running with Jason.  We usually get together on Tuesdays and Thursdays now, and if there happens to be a race on those days, we'll go together.  The weekends are kind of a toss up.  Sometimes when he's off and can go, and feels like paying to run he'll go with me.  If he's working, or doesn't want to do the races, I'll go it alone. 

Well yesterday, I got held up at work, so the usual meet and run at 4pm was called off by me, and I didn't get home until about 6:30.  This tends to happen a lot too.  While Jason is a pretty solid running partner and almost never cancels on me, I do it all the time to him.  Sure there are a lot of days and times where he's unavailable with work and school, but when it comes to being available when he says he will be, he's usually spot on.  The only things that ever seem to hold him up are injuries and illness.

I'm just a complete crapshoot, though, and it's not just getting held up at work.  I'll say I want to do a race the next morning, get up, call it off and go back to sleep.  Well, that's what I'll do if I don't completely over-sleep and you call me wondering where I am only to be told I'm still in bed.  Yeah, so maybe it doesn't happen as much as it used to, but it still happened Memorial Day for no real reason at all.

What's probably even worse is that if he blocks off a time to run with me, and I cancel, I don't know whether he just goes out without me or not.  I know he's mentioned just going and doing other things he needed to get done when I cancelled, but I haven't heard a lot of "Oh, well I just went without you, it's fine."  Whenever I miss a running appointment or road race, I usually force myself to make it up later in the day or the next evening.  So, no matter how erratic I am, I'm still getting my runs in. 

Yesterday was no exception.  I went out about 7pm and ran the short home course, because I have a slight calf strain that I think was from , and I even tried to push out that last sprint I usually do to 1/2 mile, which really sucked the wind out of me.  I don't know, maybe doing that makes it looks like I'm blowing him off just to go by myself.  I wouldn't be surprised if the thought's crossed his mind.  Maybe he even thinks I'm doing secret training to catch up to him and beat him consistently.  I don't really know.  All I do know is that, as running partners go, he's been much better for me than I have for him. 

He's pushed me along to Crim distance in one summer, and taught me to test my limit and not believe in mental barriers.  Maybe this wasn't done in a Yoda sort of way, and it was mostly just tricking me into running long distances when I didn't want to, but it worked.  What have I done for him?  After the half-marathon where he's temporarily sworn off running distances, am I getting behind and pushing him along to do another one with me, or do more distance?  Nope.  Am I tricking him and saying "let's run a 10K today" and taking him out for 13 miles or so?  Not at all.

So what's up with that?  Do I enjoy being the only one I know that's all about doing Halfs and wanting to push for more?  Hell no I don't.  As nice as DXA2 was for my confidence and as much as I kind of enjoyed the race and the improved Half time, it wasn't as fulfilling as the Martian.  At the end of the Martian, Jason was there, and we accomplished that sucker together.  With DXA2 I just kind of finished, and not having someone there I knew go through it with me made there feel like something was missing (other than water readily available at the finish line). 

I guess I just wouldn't make a great personal trainer (especially when I'm not very good at showing up).  I'm just afraid to push someone along when they say they don't want to do it.  I'm not even sure he means that though, and it all may change come Crim time, when he'll have to go at least 10 miles anyway.  I know he can't skip that one.  It's the only reason there ever was for us to run in the first place. 

I think I have an opportunity to be helpful here in the coming weeks.  I really want to do the 20K Volkslaufe run in the 'Muth.  I told him I would do whatever race he wanted to do with him, but I would really rather not do the 10K or the 5K.  I'm becoming somewhat of a distance whore, and 10K and below just isn't doing it for me anymore, even with all the PR-ing I'm doing lately.  Maybe I can sway him into doing the 20 with me and I can help push him for once.  Then again, maybe I'd just be a better running buddy letting him set the tempo, and just going out there with him and doing whatever he wants.  I don't know.  You tell me.  Maybe I don't even have the right to try to push someone who's faster than me, especially if I can't be counted on to be there all the time. 

What I do know is I could be a better running friend.  Sure, work will get in the way at times and I can't really avoid that, but I can try to be a little more consistent when that's not the case.  Now that I think of it, I told him I'd let him know what was going on with running this past weekend, and I never really called and told him I was doing those two races.  Wow, I suck.  Maybe I'll do something for the newly established Running Buddy Appreciation Day to make up for it if Jason isn't working.


  1. Things happen. I think we all understand that BUT acknowledging there is a problem is the first step in fixing it. =) You can do it! Be the running partner that he is to you! Which reminds me, did you join my Running Partner Appreciation Day?

  2. I just joined, but I also found out at our 5K today he's going to be going up north to visit his parents on appreciation day.


Locations of visitors to this page