Sunday, March 3, 2013

Extroverted and Introverted Running

So, despite my best efforts to actually write every day (and not just average every day) during Lent, it looks like today will mark the point at which I achieve averaging every day rather than writing every day.  I had a very long run yesterday (2 hours 56 minutes and a few seconds) and multiple family activities (and lots of driving) during the day.

In any case, I am thinking about extroverted and introverted running and how much I have changed since mid-summer 2010.  Before that time I almost always ran alone--except for counting, perhaps, my time at the gym in the room with the fitness machines.  It was about me, my health, my speed, my exercise.  

Since mid-summer 2010, things changed.  That is when I first started with a training group.  And from early August 2010 through October 2011, I trained with the Charm City Run marathon and half marathon training groups appropriate to specific races and fund-racing efforts for cancer-related charities.  Since then I have run with Back on My Feet as an organization, with individual members of Back on My Feet I've come to know well, with alumni of the Charm City Run training groups, and with people with whom I work.  Generally, I'm still running with others twice a week and alone 3-4 times a week, but the mix is obviously different and very importantly different.

I refer to them as extroverted and introverted running going back to the Meyer-Briggs.  Where do I draw my strength.  I find that I increasingly draw from my strength from running with others rather than from running alone.  One difficulty for me in running with others if finding people people who meet two criteria: run at speeds that are compatible with my getting a high quality workout and their getting a high quality workout and wanting to run at the same time of day.  I want to, like to, and almost have to run so that I am done and ready to start my day very early every day.  I have found a group willing to come to the track or to do tempo runs at 5:30 AM.  That is not a problem during the week.  The challenge is to find a group that or an individual who wants to begin before 6 on Saturdays.  

My concern is that one of my long-time training partners for Saturday may have to reassess her long-term plans for running.  A second person with whom I just had a first very enjoyable Saturday run is about to leave the Baltimore area.  There are others, and I am perfectly capable of doing runs like the 22 I did yesterday alone, but it is just not the same.  I truly draw energy from the runs with others.  They make a huge difference to me.  And running has warn off on the rest of my life as I find myself increasingly thinking of myself as at least a weak extrovert rather than a strong introvert and I think it has affected my ability to perform my job, my career advancement, and the way I look at life.  It is so amazing to think that it may have all begun with my running.

I owe something to everyone with whom I have ever run--not just for being good company but for helping to bring something out that had not been so prominent before in my life.  And, I owe something to Gerry whose passing brought about this change in my running.  I doubt anyone ever knows how their life or their death will completely affect others.  May I be so lucky to inspire as the years go on.  

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