My New Running Partner

This week’s Wacky Wednesday is being delayed because I am really excited.

Last week, I posted on Daily Mile that I’m grateful for speedy guys who aren’t afraid to run with a girl.

For whatever reason, I prefer to run with men. I can’t explain why; I just do. But when I suggest running together to a male, I am always shot down; either they already have a running partner or group, or our schedules just can’t fit together. This always leaves me feeling that I have to prove myself first.

While this is frustrating, I have learned to get use to running alone and I’ve learned to love running with my little men. In June, though, when I started to plan for a fall marathon, the idea of long runs by myself intimidated me so I started to look for a partner again.

Enter S., who has run Boston, runs a sub-40 10K, has a son who is Skipper’s age and goes to my school, and lives less than a kilometre away. We have known each other from the cross-country scene at school for a few years and I’ve often thought about running with him, but I never found the right time to ask. I must admit that I have hesitated because I’m a teacher at his son’s school, which could be used as another excuse to say “no”.

But this July, after running three of the same races as S. and being only slightly behind him, I popped the question: do you want to try and run together a bit over the summer? Yes! So, we exchanged e-mail addresses.

About a week later, I got my first e-mail: injured. Now, that was a new one. He probably got home, thought “What did I just do?” and spent a week trying to find an excuse not to run with me. But, after many more notes back and forth, it became obvious that S. really was injured – and frustrated by not running.

Last weekend, we ended up at the start line of the Oakville 10K together – a race where I wanted to kick butt (and I ended up with my own butt up in the air) and S. wanted to take it easy as it was his first run since declaring injury almost 8 weeks earlier. His slower than 40 minute 10K and 45 minute run gave us an average time of 42.5 minutes – and the same pace on that race day.

So now it was obvious that we are compatible runners and, again, we decided to try to coordinate a run together. But, last week, it was my turn to bail out, ironically because of my own injury; I was resting my leg to help the bruising dissipate.

Tonight, our first run together finally happened. We left our boys with a sitter and headed out for a set of intervals on a hilly loop. S. told me that it takes him about 9 minutes to run it; I figured we’d be 10 if we ran at my pace. Nope – we ran three of them in about 8:50 each – about a 6:30 mile pace. I wouldn’t have believed it had it not been for exhaustion that I have never felt before from running.

Would I have run that pace alone? Probably not. Will I do it again. I hope so. Next Wednesday is Interval Night.

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