Partner in Crime

I may be a single woman, but with the population of my adopted city approaching 8.3 million, I am rarely – if ever – alone. Pop into Fairway for a gallon of milk and I’m confronted with thousands of my gourmand neighbors. Lay in bed at night and I’m serenaded by the homeless guy on my stoop downstairs. Haven’t had your cuddling fill in a while? Just ride the 4/5/6 at rush hour. I guarantee you’ll be both big spoon and little spoon before reaching 59th St.

Hey, entire population of the Upper East Side. Thanks for totally blocking the path to my apartment.

With most days in New York essentially a scene-for-scene reenactment of the Lion King’s wildebeest stampede, I’ve come to treasure every elusive minute of solitude I’m able to carve out of my days. And more often than not, those brief escapes take place with a Garmin on my wrist and pavement under my feet. Waking up at 6 a.m. for a 5-mile tempo run may have its downsides (see: leaving happy hour early, etc.) but for those blissful 45 minutes of peace and quiet, it’s undeniably worth it. Running solo – like Han Solo – is No. 1 in my book.

Or so I thought until this past Sunday, when I logged my first non-race miles of this marathon training cycle with a friend.

Note to self: next time take portrait before running 12 miles. Although, let’s be honest here, the sweaty look is definitely in this season. Just ask Tim Gunn.

Turns out, forgoing my usual solitude for a social workout has its perks:

  1. I couldn’t hit the snooze button without standing her up.
  2. I had a captive audience to listen to a 6-mile-long recap of my entire social life.
  3. I accidentally shaved about 45 seconds off my average long-run pace. Competitive much?

You also get infinitely more whistles from fellow runners when your workout partner is an adorable blond girl, turns out. Well played, Kate.

Do you run with friends? Do you find it makes you more disciplined and/or likely to get catcalled?

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