Sunday, December 17, 2023


I get to talk about running again.  Luck you. 

It's really more about behaviour and the differences that are out there - mine and others. 

As my training group / running group, for which I pay semi-handsomely, doesn't start back until February, and technically ended in October, I've been finding a way to run with others. Sure, I'm fine running by myself, outdoor or in, but I find I'm better motivated to go, and be better, if I'm challenged by others. least in running. Maybe exclusively to. 

I tried finding a gay running group, but their website hadn't been updated since 2013 (!!!!). They had an email, but messages there went unanswered. Honestly I'm too lazy to try to even start that up and coordinate anything. 

On FB, the Cleveland Road Runners Club popped up in upcoming events. They're a running group, not set on training, just running. And eating. 

On a whim, I clicked 'going' to their scheduled run for yesterday. It starts early, with a start and end time, but no set mileage. Do as little or as much as you like. Go as fast or as slow as you want. Walk, should you rather do that. 

While I won't say my other group is competitive the members are goal-oriented. This one, seemingly not at all.  Well, some race, but it's not THE topic of conversation .

I got there, not knowing for whom I was looking. But like clockwork, a dozen and a half folks got out of their cars on a chilly morning and ready to run. They immediately focused on me, as clearly I was the only new person. Everyone welcomed me, introduced themselves and asked me questions. 

Clearly, this is very different than my first five months of kind of being frozen out of any camaraderie. Yes, my group warmed up to me, and me them, but it was work. This one, not a second - literally - of people reaching out and being nice. 

I was also told they meet afterwards at a bakery and I should join. I hedged. One guy goes, "we only talk about the folks who don't show up."

Granted, I was out of my comfort zone, but I am pushing myself to an I / E border in my Myers-Briggs bullshit. I feel farther into my I than I want. 

The first guy asked me: so how fast are you running today?   No one has ever asked me that before. How far do you plan on going?, sure.  I stated my intended time and he goes, oh, you'll leave me in your wake. 

Oh, I should also mention, I might have been the second youngest person there, as opposed to being the second oldest in my other group. Maybe age is the key here. 

My plan was to run 8. As we ended up breaking into smaller groups, I was with three others, one being the president of the club. Convo ensued and questions were asked of me, and all were engaged.  Mark, the prez, turned at 3 to do 6. The two others wanted to turn around at 3.5.  I could have kept going, but I thought I should be part of the group, so I turned. 

They kept me keeping pace. I was very happy with my time, though I think I'm the only one who mapped / timed their run. I was definitely the only person who had on headphones, though I barely used them. 

Mid-run, I opted to go to the bakery, if nothing else but for hot tea to warm up. I waited for others, who did show, but apparently they already had a table going.  A number of people who are in the group didn't run, but they still show up for scones and such. 

This is very different for me. 

The folks I was sitting near immediately turned the running club into book club. Someone was reading Madame Bovary (he couldn't get through it), someone was rereading Infinite Jest (I haven't tried to tackle that), someone was reading Nietzsche - I joked because Kierkegaard  was too much a jokester. At least he laughed. One person was listening to Patrick Stewart read his memoir. 

Everyone was extremely nice and welcoming. Apparently they have dues, but I think I can swing the $25 per year. 

So, I've decided to run with them for the next 6-7 weeks. I'd like to run with them during my other training, but that will be tough, though maybe I can go on their Sunday runs and do my Saturdays with the first group.  710 won't mind me being out of the house for another weekend morning. 

I also signed up for the rewards program at the bakery. I'm not a fool. 

Song by: the Who


Old Lurker said...

A running group + a bakery sounds like a dangerous combination. Or maybe it is balance in all things.

See? Now you have two groups of friends! It is a pity they spend most of their time running away from you, but it's progress. There might be hope for you yet.

James Dwight Williamson said...

Always wonderful to be welcomed !

Travel said...

One group I ran with in Orlando, described themselves as a breakfast club with a running problem. Enjoy the crowd.