I’m not sure what it is about the running community, but I’ve noticed this phenomenon the last few times I’ve been out with “strangers” from the Moms RUN This Town group (“strangers” because I haven’t met them, but they’ve been vetted prior to joining the Facebook group and are actively posting proof that they’re real people). The phenomenon is that we will talk about anything, with any other runner.
- Personal troubles
- How many miles we run, how much we stretch, cross training, etc.
- Which runs we’ve registered for
- What to wear for a run
- Specific detail about how/why/where we purchased our running gear
- Safety, especially for women
- How we fuel for long runs
- What we ate the night before, and how bad it’s weighing us down
- Chafe… oh god, chafe…
- Starting line nerves
- Poo problems
- Having to pee 5 minutes into a run, and access to facilities
- Running-induced rhinitis
- Muscular and joint issues, and pointing out exactly where it hurts
These are just some of the things that I’ve heard people talk about, or spoken to myself. Sometimes I talk about what’s up with me (goodness knows there’s enough going on to fill a book!), effectively using my running buddy as a personal therapist. Sometimes it’s therapeutic for me to stop talking and just listen to my buddies talk about their running goals, their other interests (YES, there IS a world beyond running!), their kids, their spouses… It’s kind of nice to know that women from all different backgrounds, at all levels in the running journey, are able to come together and bond over this one small thing that we have in common: putting our feet to the pavement (or trail… or track).
Running can be very solitary: the heat and humidity this summer chased me indoors onto a treadmill for my training, and thus I’ve logged many miles indoors, by myself. I’ve registered for and run many 5Ks by myself. As with many other aspects of my life, running has been a very solitary activity.
Running can be very social: find the right group, and you’ll have insta-friends. These people will check in to see how you’re progressing. They’ll hold you accountable. They expect to see your smiling face at gatherings. And YOU look forward to how they touch your life.
If you’re a runner, have you experienced this? If not a runner, then have you experienced this in some other activity? Tell me: who’s in your tribe?