Thursday, June 16, 2011

Why running is, and is not, a good date.

3.6 miles, on trail with HILLS yesterday. I have not looked at the Garmin yet but I'm pretty sure there were at least 1000 feet worth of climbs. Or 100 feet. Same thing.

While running (with a companion) I reflected on why running is, and definitely is not, a good way to spend time with someone you're getting to know.

Why it is a good activity:
1. It's running.. it's fun, it stimulates (breathless) conversation about your pasts with running, your feelings about running. This is a good time to see if you are on the same page.
2. It's challenging! You get to see how the other person responds to challenges like hills. And insects landing on your faces.
3. It's a bonding experience. Even if you're not on the same page, pace-wise, you're doing something active, together.

Why is it a not-so-good activity:
1. Sweat. Sweat. More sweat. Maybe for some people this is attractive, but if you're a copious sweater (like me) it is just one more thing to be nervous about.
2. Mismatched pace can be nerve-wracking as well. Even if you're ok at going faster/slower than you normally do, it is still a little stressful to worry about "am I going too fast? Is he tired? or is he bored?"
3. Running-related quirkiness. The noises my stomach makes following a run are epically loud. Likewise, explaining that for you, it's normal to eat nothing/everything in sight/drink a bucket of water in one gulp might promote active conversation, but it does bring to light all sorts of weirdnesses to someone you've just met.

All in all, if you can get past the general discomfort of being sweaty and out of breath in front of someone you're trying to impress, I think it balances out. There's definitely a feeling of mutual accomplishment after a nice run. And it breaks up the monotony of running to have a buddy from time to time :)

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