So it may or may not come as a shock to you, dear reader, that I am kind of an introverted person. I am to introverted as a Reese’s Egg is to awesomeness. So it might be a little weird that I have a blog where I share the inner workings of my mind – what can I say, I’m expanding my barriers. As a relatively quiet, let’s say, reflective individual, I tend to do a lot of things solo or with just a few people. Go hiking by myself for a few hours – done it several times. Go to a race at Martinsville alone – check. Ride a bike or run for hours without seeing another human, just farm animals – sometimes I choose it. My best friends: my wife, my son, my golden retriever. It would probably be no surprise by now if I told you that the majority (96.788% to be exact – give or take a tenth) of my running and exercise is done solo mio. I’ve often pictured myself as the latter-day Forrest Gump, a folk hero running across America with nothing but the clothes on my back, a glorious mane of hair flowing in the breeze, a masterful beard draped across my chin – imparting wisdom to those that pass by (“stuff” does happen). Perhaps a little less dirt and some improved fragrance status but none the less – rugged and free. There are only a few problems I’ve encountered so far: 1) I cannot grow a beard, just can’t. My wife finally gave me permission to do so and I think she did because she knows I can’t. 2)Unlike Mr. Gump, whose high commercial acumen (he got invested in that fruit company) created a vast quantity of free time, I have to work. 3) Running alone for long distances can get really boring once you run out of things to talk to yourself about.
Enter RunnerDude’s Fitness
Date: Feb/March 2017. Location: Living Room of House. Activity: Facebook surfing. Enter title RunTheBoro on a friend’s page. A few clicks later and I see the idea “A field trip for runners.” So I took a test: Am I a runner? Check. Do you like field trips? Check. Is it free? Check. After a few emails with Thad, I was signed up to be a pacer (someone who runs a specific speed as a guide) for the 8 week series of runs that took place in various neighborhoods in Greensboro. I knew that there would be a decent group of people coming out but it was consistently 100+! Week 1 started and I was running in a group but just being my quiet self. As the run goes on, you typically get in a small little pod of similar speed runners. I ended up running most of the run with someone that we will call “The Russian.” The Russian and I spent about an hour or so running, talking about our running experiences, work, kids (I get to do that now, not just dogs), and chicken and waffles. By the time we finished the run, it felt like we had only been running for a short period of time (we had run 8 miles). At that point, something that most everyone already knew hit me. Time passes faster when you have fun conversation. I was hooked, group runs for everyone, every day from here to the end of time! The next week, I went back. I dragged Kenny, the Sportscaster out. The same thing happened – the long run felt shorter than my short runs at home alone. A few weeks later, Kenny and I had decided to do a marathon and use the group training aspect at RunnerDude’s Fitness to get us there sane. We were also able to add another one to our 4 hour pace flock – Lisa the Lawyer. Now, each week I look forward to getting up really early on a Saturday morning to go run several hours with a group of friends that help pass the time, motivate when the run gets hard, answer physical therapy related questions, complain with about the hills and the heat (more frequently recently), and to celebrate our progress.
So if you are in the Greensboro area, and you like to run, check out RunnerDude’s Fitness and tell Thad that Mike sent you!
Next up: “Running” My First Marathon
Week 3 Training so far: