Being A Runner Means It's Easy To Make Friends

Last night I attended the retirement party of my former supervisor and good friend, Larry S.  Blair is working all weekend, so it was just me. I knew a couple of people of the 40 to 50  in the room, but most were strangers. This doesn't bother me, as I don't mind introducing myself and making conversation.

Still, I was happy to see a man named Dave  who I know to be a serious runner. I didn't realize quite how serious until I started talking to him. Dave--who I'm guessing is in his late 50's--has blown past marathons and regularly does 40 and 50 mile trail races. (Trail runners, I am learning, are a breed apart from pavement runners.)

I reintroduced myself to Dave, mentioned I'd just taken up running last year and was set to do my first marathon this year. His eyes lit up and BAM! We were off in a corner yakking about running and races and PR's and shoes and gels and training and everything else running related for the rest of the evening.

It's a runner's blessing and curse. Nothing is so interesting in life as talking about running, which makes it incredibly easy to sit down in a corner and chat with a perfect stranger for five hours. However, it's off-putting to people around you who don't take an interest in the sport. I was amused this past week when my neighbors and I went for a run and a friend from out of town joined us. After our 40 minute run, we stood outside and were chatting. Another neighbor who loves to talk came over, but within 10 minutes she wandered back home. Why? We were gushing about races and weather and times and boring the pants off her, I'm sure.

The good news is, I'm meeting Dave and a woman he runs with on Wednesday for a trail run--my first. The woman is looking for a running partner and sounds about my speed, so Dave will be there to introduce us. Plus, I'm determined to find people to run with. I simply run faster, stronger, and longer when I'm with someone. I'm much more likely to crap out when I'm on my own.  My neighbor should be good for runs during the week, there are running clubs that do long runs on weekends (although most run on Saturdays and I much prefer Sundays), and I'm in town on Wednesdays, so if this woman and I hit it off, there's another running partner and a trail run once a week might be a nice change of pace.

Today looks to be perfect running weather--it's gray and overcast but not cold. I think I'll give my neighbors a call and see if they're up for a long Sunday run.