So, here's how I work: I get fixated on stuff. Like, right now, I'm obsessed with finding me a running partner. This came about because I am training for a marathon and the thought of doing 16-20 mile runs by myself kinda freaks me out. On a boredom level, not because I don't like being by myself. In fact, that's one of the reasons I run; to be by myself. To escape from life for 30-90 minutes a few times a week.
With that said, I still want a running partner. I feel like I need one. But finding one has not been as easy as I thought it would be. Granted, I haven't put as much effort into it as I can. I have gone to a local running group a couple of times, but I never talked to anybody and always felt out of my element and uncomfortable. I have asked friends if they have any running friends that are training for the upcoming marathon and want a partner. No dice there.
I guess I can't really say that it's been hard to find a partner; what with me not putting too much into it. What is hard about it for me is the social part of it. I have never been good at making friends. I am socially awkward (although I know it's not PC to say this, but I am socially retarded). I don't really know how to talk to people at first. So, this kinda scares the shit out of me. Showing up at a group-run where I know nobody and the only thing I immediately have in common with any of them is that I run. Knowing that many of the runners there are of the fast variety, or veterans of the sport. And, isn't it weird that after all these years of running I still feel that runners are snobs? They aren't; I know they aren't (okay, some of them are... but some people are snobs in general), yet I still feel like I don't "belong". Why? I don't know. I mean, wtf... I run, therefore I belong, right? Not to toot my own horn, but I ran 16 f'ing miles at once... I should not feel out of place around other runners. Yet I do. Such is life, I suppose.
This is not something you can just Craigslist, you know? You can't just hop on a site and type in "running partner" and hope to find "the one". If only it were so easy. While I am VERY new to the dating scene, it seems that finding a running partner is very much like finding somebody worth dating. You can't just find somebody who has a similar pace as you, somebody who is ready to get out there and do 20-mile runs. There has to be the chemistry, too. You have to be able to stomach the person for up to 4 hours. There has to be trust on a few different levels. I think the only difference between finding a suitable running partner and dating is that the physical attraction doesn't have to be there for a running partner. It's actually probably better if there isn't the attraction. I don't know...
So, tonight I went on this run with a group called the Eugene Hash House Harriers. It was a damn lot of fun. I plan on going to it more and I know that once I get into it, I will most likely write a post about it. The group seems like a good place to find a training partner, maybe. I actually talked to people in the group (What?? Me, talk to people??) and there were several that are long-distance runners. Like, ultra-runners. One of the men I talked to qualified for Boston.!! He's probably out as a training partner because his pace would be wicked fast. Who knows, though. The fact is, I'm getting out there. I might be able to find somebody who wants to put in some serious miles with me. Maybe share some laughs and some stories. This group could be what I've needed for awhile with my running. I'm not getting bored or anything, but knowing other runners is always a great way to keep that motivation bar high.
I have high hopes for finding somebody to train with me. I still have several months before the marathon, which means I could very easily slack on the miles. But, I have already done a 16-mile training run and I'm very ready to bump it up. I hope to be doing 20 within the next month. Maybe by that time, I will have found somebody just crazy enough to join me! If not, I think I can probably survive doing the runs by myself. I am pretty content to just cruise along listening to my music and spend some time thinking... or not thinking.
We shall see how it goes!!