I’ve coined a new term : Social Runner.
You know, like social drinker or social smoker? One who does an activity while in social settings. Well I’ve decided I’m a social runner. Except not really.
So maybe this “social runner” term isn’t quite perfect, but let me try to explain.
On Saturday, I ran my second 5k in six weeks. My results of the first race weren’t exactly what I wanted, but I really enjoyed the race. I had fun. I went with a friend and though we didn’t run together after the first 50 steps, I ended the race with Adam and the kids cheering me on for the last 50 steps. And then they came running to me and I reconnected with my friend to catch up on how the race went and then me and the family talked to some other people we knew there and then we all went home and drank chocolate milk. And I lived happily ever after.
Until the Thursday before this last race. See, Adam left Thursday afternoon to do a mega race which left me at home with the kids until late Saturday night. So the days leading up to Saturday’s race were anything but restful. Now I know, it’s not like I need to prepare a ton for a 5k, but being on call 100% of the time with four kids is tiring. Especially when the 5 month old wakes up Friday night and then doesn’t go back to sleep until nearly 1am and then the 2 year old climbs in bed with you at 5:30am and then the 5 month old gets up at 7:15am. Less than 6 hours of sleep the night before a race isn’t the best plan.
Oh, and rollerskating with your girlfriends for two hours the night before probably isn’t the smartest idea either…
So by Saturday afternoon, because my race wasn’t until 4pm, I was pretty tired physically and was emotionally spent from dealing with the kids by myself for three days. And so I drive the long drive down to Mallow Run Winery for the race alone (because the friends I had planned on running with decided not to run) praying the rain that had been pouring down the whole day would hold off for just a few hours for some race and post-race fun. Here’s me trying to get hyped up for the race while sitting in traffic for 20 minutes a half mile from the winery.
Pretty hyped, huh?
So I get to the race and look for some other friends I know are planning on running and can’t find any of them, so I just get in line and wait. Alone.
And then I run. Alone.
Which is really okay, I actually like that part about running. Being alone, listening to my music, trying to concentrate on my pace. But I had basically been alone (with the exception of my kids and a few hours the night before) for three days and then being alone started turning into being lonely.
**Insert run info: it was actually NOT raining! Yay! But the first mile was almost entirely up-hill and then the remaining 2 miles weren’t flat by any means, so it really took more out of me than I expected. And just as with the last race, at about 1.75 miles my knee started really bothering me, enough that I was limping so I walked for a couple minutes. And then about 1/4 mile farther it started up again, so I walked another couple minutes. And then about 1/4 mile from the end, I started getting really nauseous so I walked for about one minute and then forced myself to run the rest. At this point I ended up basically yelling at some guy who kept running past me and then walking and every time he started walking I wanted to start walking too, so I told him he couldn’t keep stopping like that right in front of me and that he should run the rest of the way with me so that I wouldn’t stop either. (I could tell he needed something to get him to the finish line and I needed it too.) I ended up running a 38:41 which is totally sucky, but I ran it 4 minutes faster than last year so that’s got to count for something, right?**
So I finish the race and what do they have at the finish line? Chocolate milk!! So I’m excited about that and then I’m all “I can’t wait to find some friends to hang out with for a little bit and have a glass of wine after my chocolate milk” and I wander around drinking my chocolate milk for what seems like forever searching for friends and I find none. Not one.
And all of a sudden I realize this is no fun. I was disappointed in myself because I didn’t run the whole race and I was sitting at the winery with 3,000 other people drinking a glass of wine by myself. I mean really, I must have looked so pitiful.
See what a little chocolate milk and wine will do to this girl?
I’ve been thinking for days now about the race. People inquiring how it went, how I felt, was it fun… And that’s when I decided I’m a social runner. See, the first race I race about the same race as the second, but it felt SO MUCH BETTER because the SITUATION was so much better for me. The first race started fun and ended fun and I ran a race in between. The second race started poorly and ended poorly and I ran a race in between. The only difference was that I wasn’t alone for the first race.
I know that running is healthy for me. I feel great physically and emotionally when I run. It’s a good thing, even though I only run a couple miles each time. And when I run, I need it to be healthy and good. So I’m not going to run any more races alone. I’m going to take you all with me. I’m going to be a social runner and start and end fun races with friends, even though I may run alone in between.
And I’m okay with that. At least I’ll be running.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I am working with Indiana Dairy and their Refuel Runner Ambassador Program. I’m super excited to be part of the program and to share with you my opinions and experiences. Of course, those opinions and experiences are all my own. Now go refuel with chocolate milk.