On Thursdays I run with two friends. I have been doing these runs for a few years. It’s a nice time to laugh, vent about our week and get some mileage in. Last night though I found myself a little frustrated. Our 4 mile run took 58 minutes-a time that doesn’t include stopping to do an open house tour of a house on the market. Our average mile pace was 13:08.
Normally, I’m okay with the slower pace that involves stopping for dogs, people and traffic lights. But as I am becoming more focused on a specific finish time I found myself frustrated by the interruptions. I felt like I would get into a groove/stride and then we would stop.
I love the camaraderie, but I find it challenging when everyone in the group has different goals. Fitness is the over arcing goal, but for some its just a fun run on a Thursday night. I will admit during off season that is how I feel about it. However as my focus has become more on improving my running not just maintaining I have grown increasing discontent with the idea of a fun run.
The frustration has caused an internal battle, I do love the chance to run with others. We have been together for quite a number of years. At the same time, the desire to improve and just run without distraction is coming into play more frequently. My intention is to have a particular goal with each run, aside from completing the allotted miles. These goals have included anything from negative splits, to hydration patterns, to focusing on a particular run without stopping goal.
One thing I must also remember is to have fun on my runs, and honestly Thursday runs do add fun to the process. For me it’s learning to balance the fun with the focused. Perhaps my frustration had more to do with a rocky day outside the realm of running. Bumpy personal issues led to me feeling stressed and uneasy, I must recognize that those feelings were carried with me throughout the evening.
While I got my miles in my frustration about non running things made for an unsettling, for lack of a better word, evening. Perhaps with a good night sleep and some time to ponder I will be able to see the run for what it is-a fun way to get in my miles.