Wednesday makes me wonder - the 'running buddy' edition

Funny how things can work out. And yes, this post is brutally honest. Again.

I love heading out for a run and meeting up with a running buddy. Luckily I've found plenty of running buddies in the past 12 months. Most of them through blogging. I've also found a supportive running group (and yes, I haven't been training with them a lot in the past couple of months, but that mainly has to do with the 50-miler training schedule that tells me intervals and speedwork are off for the time being).

Don't get me wrong, I don't mind running solo. Not at all. Most of my long runs are performed 'solo'. I like the peace and calm of heading out for a 20-miler - all by myself.

Running buddies = true gift

I might be a weirdo, but I treasure each and every running buddy I have. Running buddies are a true gift. At least in my opinion.

That's probably why losing one leaves me feeling sad and disappointed. And recently I did lose one. And I still don't understand why. That bugs the heck out of me.

Why? Well... We started training together a little over a year ago. Instant click. Fun, great training buddy. Registered for races together, raced those races together, did our long runs together, etcetera. Perfect running buddy.

Things I don't get

Fast forward to late last year. I got injured, running buddy got injured, so we didn't train together too often. Picked it up again this January. Paced running buddy to a new PR on the Half Marathon in mid-February. Good old fun again.

And then, after the pacing running buddy to a new PR thing, running buddy started cancelling running dates. One time, two times, and after that it didn't stop. Until running buddy reached a point where she wouldn't even want to schedule a 'new' running date anymore. Left me questioning myself. At one point I had even convinced myself that I must have been the worst running buddy ever for pushing her throughout that race to get that PR. But, quite honestly, I could not think of one thing I had done 'wrong'. And I'm the kind of girl that tends to blame everything on her little sad self. So, I had to dig deep to realize there truly wasn't a single thing I could have done wrong.

I'm the girl that's easy on giving second, third, fifth, tenth, 30th chances. I'm the girl that stays in touch no matter what. But at a certain point even I give up. After realizing that that running buddy wasn't injured/busy/pre-occupied, but still racing. Races we both registered for. Races where I ran into that running buddy at the start line. That's when I gave up. And I feel sad that I had to let go. I do.

Have you ever experienced the same thing? Any thoughts?


Emz said...

I'll be brutally honest here.

I'm the dork who hates relying on others [showing up, keeping promises] which is probably why I'm soooo ok with just being with myself. But unlike you I'm not always as awesome as you in 14th, 15th chances. ;)

I know some people love running buddies & find great enjoyment out of them. I think it's great. I truly do.

I'm sure it's not the same since I run indoors....who schedules to run on a TM with someone?! ;)

Anyway. I'm rambling. Sorry.

I think you are one of the coolest cats I know.

Anonymous said...

sounds like insecurity to me. She (she right?) probably realized you were growing and moving forward and she was scared she couldn't keep up. Maybe she realized after the half that you go for goals and maybe she didn't really want to push herself like you were ready to push her. Her loss!

ltlindian said...

Hasn't happened with running buddies for me, but with some friends from college. :( So I know what you mean.

And now with family, work and kids, I find I might be that person that lets the other down without meaning to. Too many commitments already.

Don't take it personally (although I probably would too...). I'm sure it's more about her than it was about you.

If you ever make it to Maine--I'll be glad to run with you! :)

Silly Girl Running said...

@ Emz: Your comment made my day. No kidding. :) Thanks!

Silly Girl Running said...

@ Katye: Thanks, that's sweet. And you're probably right about her motives!

@ Itlindian: Ahhh! Thanks! If I ever do make it to Maine, you'll be first on my 'need to visit' list! :)

Jill @ Run for the Hills said...

I think at some point, we all realize what type of runner we are. Maybe your ex-buddy needed to go in a different direction to get the most out of her running. I bet you're not the same runner you were a year ago either! I'm sure you didn't do anything wrong at all. We all have varying levels of commitment, ability and time. We all find motivation in different things. It's such a personal thing, really, and would it have been more grown up of her to be honest with you about why she needed to move on- yeah! But, I would encourage you to not take it personally because her moving on surely had nothing to do with your awesomeness as a buddy. :)

T said...

I've had running partners blow me off, and at least once I think it was because she thought she was getting better than me and that I was holding her back. Similarly another time I got blown off for a while (I think) because my partner felt like she couldn't keep up with me because she was out of shape and embarrassed about it (as though I would have minded slowing down!) But honestly? I can't deal with super competitive people anyway.

Annet said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
giraffy said...

I started jalking (jog/walking) with two other girls. We eventually (no, quickly got dropped by one girl because, I'm guessing, we were interested in running, and she wasn't. She never actually said that, she just started making up reasons she couldn't go, and after a few months, we stopped asking.

Now my running buddy is pregnant, so she's obviously taking a break (ready to POP!). And I'm back to running alone. Which is fine for me, I enjoy the solitude :)

I wouldn't stress over it. She probably just realized you're in different places, or something. Maybe she really enjoys running alone, like I do. I doubt it's you :)

Francisco Villegas..Marathoner/Triathlete said...

There is no other way than to run with a buddy or buddies! I mean if would be silly not to right?? But running with a redheaded silly girl would be like the icing of the cake! So who stirred things up here? :)

Anonymous said...

Running buddies.. nothing like it! I have none since we had to move. :( I miss having running buddies.

Anonymous said...

It's her lost! But I wouldn't stress over it. Sometimes it's stressful when your running buddy does not run the same pace as you. I have a running buddy, but I honestly, much rather run alone. I don't need to talk to people when I run, I am perfectly fine with my ipod, soaking in the environment, and get the true "me time".
I know it hurts though, because you'll always wonder "why"? Just let it go... t's not you.

Zaneta said...

I've had the same thing happen recently... and I'm the kind of girl that gives extra chances too... but after losing tons of sleep because running partner would call 2 hours before meet time... (aka 1 1/2 hours before I had set my alarm) and cancel on me.... realizing that it was stressing me out... wondering how in the world someone could be so sick all the time.... and then realizing they weren't sick lol... or only cancelling on runs where we were supposed to meet at my house etc....
yeah, its not worth it... so i've let it go... ooo... and no more scheduling early morning runs with "running buddy" lol... im done with that!

Carrie said...

I don't have any in person running buddies. There's an occasional friend, but we can never keep the same schedules. I've learned to enjoy running alone. Maybe it's because I'm afraid to put myself out there? Don't know, but I'd be your buddy anytime. It's good that you're letting this one go. It's totally not you.