Running Alone

I ran nearly 1,000 miles last year, and if my memory serves me, all but 23 of them were logged as a party of one. There’s something wondrously unrestricting about running solo: I determine my wake-up time, I determine my route, I determine my pace and I determine which bagel shop to use as the finish line (H & H Midtown Bagels East, obviously.) Even my races – with the exception of a turkey trot that proved my brother knows very little about Native American fashion and/or wicking gear – have been solitary exercises, giving me the time to clear my head, listen to my body’s needs and maintain an inner monologue that mostly involves complex plans to kidnap that Bernese mountain dog that jogs on the Bridal Path.

But while I’ve largely relished my unaccompanied workouts these past 13 months, if I’m going to train for a marathon this summer, I’m going to need some legitimate human interaction.

I’m targeting a 3:59:59 marathon time, and the appropriately named 4 Months to a 4-Hour Marathon book tells me I can reach that goal by running up to four times a week, culminating with a 23-miler in Week 14. I run 9 minute miles; do the math. Ok, fine, I’ll do it for you – we’re talking about 3 hours and 45 minutes during my longest long run – and that’s only if I’m able to maintain an unlikely 9:00 pace throughout.

3:45 is a lot of time to spend alone in your own head.  Remember how ungodly long Titanic was? (3:14, if you’re wondering.  Right, Dad?) That means I could watch the entire Leo/Kate saga unfold, and then go back and re-watch the naked scene – twice – and still be running. Common sense tells me that’s too long to run by myself on a nearly weekly basis. (Common sense should have also told them that icebergs are probably best to avoid on a maiden voyage, but I guess hindsight is 20/20.)

That means, folks, I’m in the market for a running partner. Not for every run, mind you – I still love my solo time – but a friendly face or two to join me for a couple of miles each Saturday once I start bona fide training later this year would be a welcome addition. I tested out the group running thing this morning with one of my oldest friends and her man, and let me tell you: 8 miles simply flew by.

Don’t let the solitary smile fool you:

I’m in the market for a partner.

I enjoy candle-lit dinners, a glass of red wine and long walks runs on the beach Central Park loop. Bonus points if you own that Bernese mountain dog I was just devising a complex plan to steal admiring. Who’s down?

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6 Responses to Running Alone

  1. I always ran alone until this summer and I was actually scared of running with people. Via twitter/blogs I made a few good running friends in my area that I consistently log miles with now and I have to tell you, it really makes time fly by. I personally love my alone time as well, I run for myself and sometimes I just like to be with myself…but on those 20 miles, a buddy really helps 🙂

    Happy to run with you whenever you want the company! … and if wine is included in the run, I’m double down!

  2. Sarah says:

    haha love this post and the fact that movie trivia is included. Ghost Busters is on my “to-watch” list this weekend.

    ps: had a lot of fun this weekend. never thought I would say this, but I really would like to live in NYC for a year or three.

  3. julia says:

    oh, man annie, if I were in NYC, I would be thrilled to be your running partner! Have fun and good luck with all your running aspirations! xo

    • julia says:

      is it cool to call you annie in front of god and everybody on the internet? yikes!

      • It’s cool, since I totally call you Juli. I’m sure I’ll be doing some long runs in the Delmarva region later this year — not to mention 26.2 miles in DC on October 28 — so maybe I’ll pull you along for an outing yet!

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