Spoiler alert: not much 😉 Seriously, it’s starting to feel like I have nothing to talk about beside running…
Until recently at least I could always fall back to talking about books. But guess what? I’m currently reading Haruki Murakami’s “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running” so even that’s no longer a safe space lol.
It’s particularly upsetting because I wouldn’t even call myself a runner. Sure I run a lot, but I’m not really good at it so I think of myself more as someone who runs than a runner per se (something along the line of drawing versus being an artist I guess…) I always knew marathon training would take a toll on my social life. That was kind of the point anyway. I wanted to go out less, add more structure to my life. Mission accomplished on that 😉 But I don’t think I was quite prepared for that feeling you get when you start turning down invitations and even worse when you’re no longer turning them down because, well, no one is inviting you to hang out anymore.
Since my divorce, I don’t have anyone beside my cat to come home to. I don’t have any family here. My friends are my only support system so I was determined to hang on to them and chase that elusive run-life balance. I mean, there had to be a way to prioritize exercising without turning into a complete running hermit right? I got creative. I squeezed in some run-mutes home so I could catch the tail end of happy hour. I got up earlier to catch a spin class before work and free up an evening. I make 8PM dinner plans on Thursdays on the red line so I can go there straight after track. I had friends over to my pool on Sunday so we could be lazy together after my long run. It wasn’t easy but I eventually found some kind of marathon training – social life groove.
But then I ran into a different issue. I couldn’t seem to put running out of my head. I became that person who can only talk about one thing: running. What have I have been up to? Marathon training. What was I doing this weekend? Running (duh, did I mention I’m running a marathon?). That’s cool(ish) when you’re around other runners but not so much everyone else. And it didn’t get better after the Marine Corps because obviously I had to make sure everyone and their mother knew I had just ran my first marathon. I was probably the world’s most boring date… until I started dating a runner. Yeah, we could talk about running together! On the downside though we both had to fit each other around our running schedules which sometimes meant that yes, we went on a group run on Valentine’s Day. So romantic 😉
I learned a lot last year training for my first marathon. I learned a lot about myself, of course. What I can endure, how strong I can be. That was kind of the point. But I also learned a lot about the training cycle and I have a better idea of what to expect this time around. I am keenly aware that I turned into a bit of a marathon-monster and deeply appreciative of the few friends that stuck with me as I turned down fun plans and bored them with running-talk when we did get together. At times marathon training sucked. But clearly not enough for me not to want to do it all over again. Now I just need to figure out what to talk about instead of only talking about running. All tips are appreciated ….