2012 will go down as the Year of Firsts.

* First time in the 130’s as an adult.

* First 5K.

* First 10k (August 4th!)

* First Half Marathon (October 7th!!!)

* First who knows what else?!

The wonderful thing about learning to run and training for new distance is that practically every single workout is an opportunity to accomplish something never done before.

My training plan for the San Jose Rock n’ Roll Half (am i seriously running a half marathon – what the F*CK)is comprised of 3 miles on Tuesdays and Thursdays and a long (sloooow) run on Sundays.  I’m cross-training with Dailey Method on most days, yoga as often as possible, and taking a complete rest day once a week.  I’m being conservative with both mileage and pace to avoid injury.

In the spirit of firsts, I did something new today: I ran with a friend!  My buddy (and birthday twin!) Jamie and I have been planning to do some outdoorsy stuff for awhile so I invited him on my training run today.  He’s an experienced runner but was very gracious and willing to run at my pace.

If only I had been willing to run at my pace….

Whomp Whomp.

I definitely succumbed to the self-imposed pressure of being with a faster runner.  While my overall pace (10:28mm over 3.17 miles) was almost exactly what I’ve done on my last couple runs, I started off too quickly and felt miserable most of the time.  I *really* didn’t want to have to stop to walk but into the second mile, my heart rate had been so high for so long that I just really needed to slow down.  Jamie was a sport and willing to walk but I was bugged.  The recovery was essential and I got through the rest of the run but it was not comfortable.  There was no way I was going to walk twice but I couldn’t stop thinking about it for about half a mile.

Was it as simple as starting out too fast?  Was I using too much breath conversing?  Was I a bit nervous about running with someone else and unable to release my body the way I do when I’m alone?  These were all surely factors, combined with the fact that running is hard and I am still a new runner.  I am a new runner.  I am a new runner. 

Okay runners – how do you feel when you run with other folks?  Is it a welcome distraction or does it introduce other challenges?  Or both?  😀


5 thoughts on “Company

  1. I know if it were me trying to run with a “real” runner (do you still feel like a bit of a fraud? I do.), it would be nerve-wracking, and I would expend EXTRA breath defending and self-deprecating and apologizing lol.
    I’m glad that it sounds like he’s pretty cool about it; it’s great that you have a supportive real-life friend to do some active things with! Maybe you two could make it a semi-regular thing, like once a month you get together and go for a run? That way you won’t constantly feel like you have to prove you’re a REAL runner, and you can also measure your progress against HIS pace. 🙂
    Above all, be gentle with yourself! You ARE a new runner. Hooray – you’re a runner!! Just think that last year, or even a few short months ago, you might not have even considered running with him!

    • Shauna says:

      You’re absolutely right! I definitely expended breath and energy (that I didn’t have to spare!) keeping up. Even though the pace wasn’t even different, everything about it felt different. Just another aspect of running to get accustomed to, I suppose!

  2. I’m definitely a solo runner. The pressure of running beside someone sends my heart rate skyrocketing. It’s so annoying! Definitely the pressure of needing to keep up, or wondering if I’m going to fast. I’m too used to setting my own pace. And when my running partner (VERY occasionally my husband) slows down, I can’t help but feel a little annoyed, like I’m losing out on exercising. Of course, that’s only because I’m spending my workout time running with my husband, who is still in the beginning stages of training. I internalize the annoyance, but I guess my runs are just about forgetting everything and just moving. When I’m with someone I can’t turn my brain off like I want to. Of course, when I get over that and act more like a trainer and motivator for my husband, it’s a lot more fun. But then it’s not a partner thing so much.

    Some people swear by running groups, I think because they get bored. I’ve discovered podcasts. Music is great, but a 45 minute podcast really passes the time.

    Also? You effing rock. Love your schedule. 🙂

    • Shauna says:

      I’m definitely going to start using podcasts for my long runs. Listening to Fresh Air and This American Life will help me slow my pace down.

      I should run with Chris! I bet we’re around the same speed. 😀

      • Actually I think you are! He was making great progress – actually ran 10 miles December of last year! Then he started getting pain in his knee and finally like 2 months ago saw a doctor for it – when he was at the point where he couldn’t walk without pain. They think it’s bursitis, so with proper stretching and whatnot he’s SLOWLY getting back to normal. He still can’t really run much though. Just like a mile maybe. It’s so disheartening because he was really getting into it. But yeah, hopefully he’ll be all healed soon. Before his injury his pace was actually very close to yours. Come visit and we can all run Lake Miramar. It’s 5 miles exactly. 🙂

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