I’ll be honest, I’ve always preferred do things by myself. Call it independence if you like. I call it being an only child until I was 11. Either way, I’ve found it’s quicker and, I get what I want, when I do things alone. On top of that I don’t like to make commitments. So the idea of a running buddy scarred the hebejebes out of me. Not only did I have to do something un-alone I had to commit to a time and a date! Sheesh-kabab! Talk about both feet and deep end all at once!

The lead up to the big day (Tuesday 3rd July) was terrible. Since making the commitment on Sunday I was worrying about it. I was praying the buddy would cancel. She didn’t. In fact, she kept telling me how much she was looking forward to it!

So the big day rolled around. I wasn’t keen. My reasons were:

A running buddy would slow me down/ result in me running less far.

That doesn’t sound much but it was enough to put me off. Sadly, there was no way of getting out of it. So I went for self sabotage. I ate half a pizza just before we were due to run. I also left getting ready to the last minute. Bad idea. As soon as the planned timed rolled around we were off. She had literally just got home but was in her running gear and ready to go. I had forgotten to warm up and just did a few brief stretches with her. Then BAM, we started running.

Red flags aka things that should have indicated to me this won’t be easy

The first red flag was her running gear was legit. She had pro running kit head to toe.

The second red flag was she started running from the front door. WHAT! I walk to the canal, a nice 10 minute walk, then start running.

Third, she ran faster than me.

How it went

Remember a few posts ago I practically bragged about eating tonnes of junk food, going for a run, and feeling fine? Well, not so much this time. In addition to the faster pace, I got a stitch from the pizza! I can tell you now, I wanted to stop running ASAP. So, imagine my relief when we came across a reason to go home. Part of the canal was closed for repairs. Yay! Let’s turn around. Nope. We went around the barrier! Shucks. Instead of doing a U-turn we ran up to street level and re-joined the canal further up where the repairs had ended.

running + running buddy = longer distances

Now, on Sunday my buddy asked me where I usually run. I told her my 5 mile route. Guess what we were doing today? I was praying we would stop at London Zoo, a 4 mile route, but the thing about having a buddy is, it’s hard to be the first one to say ‘shall we stop?’. In fact, as I discovered tonight, it’s impossible. So we ran my 5 mile route.

I must admit, about 20 minutes in to the run the shock of running with someone else, with a stomach full of pizza, had worn off. And I got a huge kick out of approaching the half way point, especially when I had been willing to quit much earlier on, at the canal repairs. Having said that, running all the way back was no piece of cake. There were times I was praying to walk. Which in some places we did. Namely, when we were crossing roads at street level.

Now, my 5 mile route starts from York Road bridge, however today we started at the front door and joined the canal at Caledonia Road Bridge (1 bridge before York Road). So we actually ran 9.6K! which is 5.9 miles!

Other observations

  • When you run in the rain, you can’t tell where the rain stops and your sweat begins.
  • You may feel pressure to keep up with your running buddy’s pace.
  • Your running buddy’s pace may be uncomfortable for you to keep up with.
  • You can do high fives with your running buddy when you finish! You can’t when you’re alone. (Bar Neil Patrick Harris’s self-five)
  • You can share your achievement together aka tell each other how cool you both are!
  • Running 9.6 k leaves your body dead. I actually got pins and needles in my back at one point. Saying that I was less dead than when I ran 10 K. So I’m improving.
  • Your running buddy may have a higher level of hygiene then you. I rarely shower after I run. I just wait until the morning. But today my buddy said to me ‘You can shower first’. Not a bad thing, in fact it’s good, but it took lazy me some time to get used to.
  • Your buddy will introduce you to useful Apps you’ve never heard of such as Map My Run.

Weak-stomach readers stop reading now

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

So, I noticed once before, and it’s happened again. So I Googled it to check it was normal. Apparently it is. Are you ready…… I’m not sure I am….. runner’s…….. diarrhoea. Oh god I can’t believe I wrote that, but in the interest of helping other runners who are starting running, I will go the extra mile in my reporting. Yes, that pun was intended. Runner’s Trots as it’s also known is common in long distance running and if you’ve………………. eaten food within two hours of starting your run. Dam you Pizza! If you want the science on Runners Trots there’s some here and here.

That’s all folks

Ta ta for now.

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Photo courtesy of City Running Tours Chicago.