Thursday, August 1, 2013

Casual Conversation Running

Amidst the constant drive to achieve my 50 state goal, sometimes the non-descript training runs provide moment of refreshing interaction.  I often write about speaking with fellow participants either on the busses to race starts or actually on the race course itself.  This chattiness is not limited to those situations, but they are usually less likely when just running the local streets and bike trails.

Today was an exception.  In fact, it was a double exception.

For the past few months, I have gotten into the habit of running with music or podcasts.  When I first started running, I did this religiously as a way to get through the miles.  Then I moved away from it entirely when I started hitting the trails so that I could hear mountain bikers and rattlers.  (Lots of the former; never actually seen the latter while running.)  I still rarely, rarely run a marathon with headphones in as I want to experience the sounds of the race.

This morning I felt I needed my 12 mile run to be a bit more natural - I wanted to be more connected to the Back Bay Trail I was running along the lagoon and nature preserve.

A duck swims along the Back Bay Nature Preserve, Newport Beach
Besides actually achieving that connection, I happened upon a training group.  I'm not sure what they are called (it wasn't one where they all wore the same shirts).  Pretty soon I was parallel with Jim and Larry who are both training for the NYC Marathon.  While the conversation was typical runner fare - where have you run?  Where are you running next?  Any injuries? - it was the natural enjoyment of the conversation that was remarkable.  Here we are running 8 min/miles and enjoying our sport and the stories about it.  I probably ran with them for about 2 miles, so that all that long overall.  They then made their turn back as I proceeded on.

I wonder if this will drop the headphones from me for a while.  I sort of suspect it will.