Marcia and I were not able to run together this weekend, so I had to settle for a substitute running partner Sunday morning. Being the thinker that I am, this situation left me in a state of mental reflection during my run. Who is the better running partner? And why?
I guess before I get any further, I should let you know that my running partner this weekend was our 10 month old golden retriever, Runner. What follows are some lists that I’ve compiled to help me figure out which running partner is best for me.
Ways Runner may be the better running partner:
- She lets me dominate the conversation from start to finish.
- I never had to ask, “Can you even hear me?! Which ear is your earphone in?”
- She really pushes my pace (especially around dogs, cats, squirrels, leaves blowing across the street, and random other things that move).
- She doesn’t stop to refuel (no Gu or FRS for this dog!).
- I didn’t have to wait for her GPS signal on her Garmin.
- She is ready to run as soon as she sees her leash.
- She is REALLY low maintenance (not that Marcia is high maintenance…but compared to Runner she is).
Ways Marcia may be the better running partner:
- She knows how to pace us. (I may be fast at times with Runner, but I run longer and smarter with Marcia.)
- She doesn’t stop on the side of the road for bathroom breaks (that’s sort of my thing).
- She distracts me with good conversation.
- She smells better (most of the time).
- I haven’t had to leash her yet.
- When my shoulders get tight, she shoves her thumb into just the right spot to make me want to cry, but also to make the tightness go away. (She has also been known to shove her fist into the side of my rump, leaving me on the verge of tears during my struggles with hip problems.)
- She reminds me to stop obsessing about mileage and times.
- She doesn’t stop to eat various plastic and metal containers along the route.
- I don’t feel like my arm is being pulled out of my shoulder socket when we run together(although Runner has made marked improvements on the leash).
- I never have to worry about her running off (at least, not yet!).
- She is much better at obeying traffic lights.
- She makes me stop to hydrate and refuel when needed.
Now upon further reflection: a list of the similarities between Runner and myself:
- We both like to chase squirrels. (Those that know me as far back as my college days know that, “I loves to chase me some squirrel!”)
- We are both known for untimely bowel movements. (However, Runner is MUCH quicker at this.)
- Neither of us know how to pace ourselves. (We go out fast and fizzle quickly.)
- We are both super cute and that can be distracting …
- We are both prone to hip problems.
- Both of us have an attention span of about … what was I talking about again?
Weighing the Pro’s and Con’s
Looking back over the lists, Runner and I really do have a lot in common. On the other hand, Marcia and I seem to balance each other quite a bit. It is good to have a running partner that is so complimentary to who I am and what I need. I am unstable, she is stable. I talk, she (pretends to) listens. We have a really good “give-and-take” relationship.
And this is where she really takes her place as my number one running partner … she takes care of me. She helps keep me accountable to my goals. She tells me to shut up when I need to shut up. (I think that she enjoys this one a little too much.) She looks out for me at times when she could (and should) be looking out for herself.
So…the winner of best running partner goes tooooooooo… MARCIA! Thanks partner, for running with me and putting up with my squirrel chasing, bowel movements (I know, TMI!), jabbering, obsessing, and just my over all shenanigans.