"Will you take me running with you sometime?"
This question is something I am really trying to embrace....and it is so hard because to explain why I run alone without sounding like a complete douche bag is almost impossible. Trust me...I have tried...and I have tried really hard to not hurt feelings or make it seem like I am blowing people off...and I am pretty sure I have failed a couple of times.
So as you can imagine it totally sucked to hear this:
"Well...now....that really does not fit into the whole "trail running" concept now does it?"
That was literally all I could think as I stood there looking at the gentlemen who was assisting me in my quest to find more trail shoes. It all started when he asked me what group I ran with. When I told him I ran alone he began to go into how that was not what the sport was about. I then told him that I often run with a partner or group, but choose to separate myself from them right away so that I can run alone. Apparently I missed the official "how to run the trails" memo which involves running in a pack. Don't worry...he spent a good 2 minutes explaining to me how I was doing it all wrong....so I think I am set. If I ever see him on the trails I may b*tch slap him.
However, in all honesty I can see where he was coming from. Look in any Trail Runner magazine and you will see all sorts of pictures of people running together on the trails. There are even a ton of races and relays that involve teams. I get this and I can see why he thinks it should be that way. That seems to be the way many are "doing" it...but I am far from "many".
I feel very different when I am out running than when I am out and about or at home. When I am out in nature I feel very connected with everything. I feel connected to nature...to myself..and to those who I have lost who were very close to me. I guess you could say it is kind of like a "religion" to me. I feel more at ease in nature then I do in a church. That does not mean that I do not believe in a higher existence. It just means that for me...at this moment...that higher "sense" wants me to connect with everything created in nature...not sit in a church. But that is just me...and to be alone doing that is a wonderful thing. (I will now wait for a few friends to come around...)
But in all seriousness....I really do feel "connected". I allow myself to get lost in my music and I often find myself holding conversations in my head with lost friends and family. It may sound crazy to some...but I do not see how they can be totally gone. Energy cannot be created nor destroyed..so wouldn't that mean that there has to be some logic behind what I feel? It may just be me...but it works for me...and it is a very private and personal time. It is an emotional time and I don't think much fun would be had if the person running with me sees me tear up every now and then....
Another reason why I am hesitant to have people run with me is because I am really not that special. In all honestly...I am very ADD when running. I am like that dog on the movie UP. I can be running one minute and the next be like "SQUIRREL!". That is the reason why I don't enjoy races (yeah...RBG!)...I like to be able to stop and look at things. I don't want to have to keep a pace or meet a certain time. I guess I just don't think anyone would enjoy it as much as I do so I just do it on my own.
You can call it selfish....and I guess it kind of is. I am hesitant to share my little spots. The last time I hit the trails I was sitting in a little "nook" off the beaten path just enjoying the sights and sounds. It is marked by some ghetto bird houses and really does require some stomping of branches to get to. It is my perfect little place. I often take breaks and just sit and relax. I try to focus on everything around me and notice every little movement. Once again...it is my little place! So you can imagine my surprise when another woman my age came tromping thru with her dog. We did not exchange words...but you could just see it in her eyes...it was like of like she was saying "not a secret anymore...now is it?". I remember being so angry. I felt like my little area had been violated! Stopping in this place is one of the highlights of my runs and someone has just marched right thru it! It really bothered me...
The reason it bothered me was because I was being "watched"...and I don't like that. Perhaps that is what I feel like happens when I run in groups. I feel like everyone is looking at me. I do not have the perfect stride...and I do not have the perfect pace...and people all the time try to tell me to do "this" or "that" when I just want to run how I run. We are animals. Running is an instinct. I want to run the way my body runs. When I am alone I don't have to worry about this. I don't have to wonder what people think when they are around me. It is bad enough I worry about what you all think while reading my blog. The fact that I love to write kind of makes me not care that much....but I can see people "watching" this blog all the time. Some comment on my FB...or Twitter...or the blog itself and I love that. You would probably think it is stupid how excited I get. Others watch...which there is nothing wrong with that....there are days when the data brings a huge smile to my face. Plus, I am a smart girl...I can see quite a bit ;) . I try to share as much as I can for a reason. I am very personable. I love to interact with people....my feelings get hurt when I am ignored or criticized....and I guess since I can't wave thru the computer and be like "I see you...HI!" I just have to keep writing and sharing.
I hope you all enjoy the blog. I write like I talk (which is a lot apparently) and if you have taken the time to actually keep up with this....well then I consider you a friend. No need to be shy. Who knows...maybe hearing from more of you will bring me out of my running shell. Maybe I have just not found the right time to "share" the experience. Maybe I need to be a little selfish until the time is right. Keep asking and I will keep telling you "you really would not enjoy it"....who knows...one day I may turn around...look you dead in the eyes and say "let's go!" Until then...please don't think I am being rude or mean.......I really don't mean to....and it really does bother me if I think I have hurt your feelings. I never mean to do that. I love people too much!
And to the person who knows who they are:
(Hi! For the love of all that is holy....I see the page visits.......I'm not going first this time....I tried that already.)