Runfriend Do’s and Don’ts by someone who’s –by her own definition- is awful to run with, but aspires to be better.
DO these things:
- Be entertaining: Wear a silly hat or tell a funny story. Bring a water bottle full of wine. Hump a lamppost if you have to. Just help people forget that they are tired, sore or chafed and remind them of how much more fun running is than staying home scratching your butt and watching Treehouse Masters like it’s actually a good show (because it’s not).
- Be flexible: It’s a group run and your running group is a democracy. If you want to be pace nazi or can’t wait for your ridiculous friend to hump a lamppost, then just run on your own and leave the fun to everyone else who doesn’t have a didgeridoo sized stick up their ass.
- Run with your phone: Emergencies happen. There may be times when the group needs you to order pizza, ask Siri how to get home without ubering or google the origin of figgy pudding. Be prepared.
- Nail the Selfie: You and your friends are going to want to commemorate your awesome runs with a group selfie upon completion. You won’t want to be the obnoxious one saying, “No, let’s try again… No, let’s take another one… How about from this angle?… Delete! I look like I have 3 chins… Delete! Ok, I def actually have 3 chins in real life… Can we switch sides?… My arm looks fat….” But you also definitely don’t want to have 3 chins and a goofy, disappearing bottom lip grin that makes it look like you belong on the short bus either. So practice on your own. Take 100 post-solo-run selfies and find your best side. Then delete the evidence less you embarrass yourself when showing pictures to someone later.
- Help when called upon: Canadian geese fly in a V shape and if one can’t go on for whatever reason and bows out of the flock, the birds flying directly in front and behind go down with it. I’m not saying you have to run in a V shape formation, but if your friend has to stop and squat behind a bush out of desperation, hold their hand. (Sttaaaaackkkkk, ya so sick!) Kidding! Just help them find a good bush and stop and wait for them. Or if they are hurt, call the wahhhhmbulance or the regular old ambulance or their boyfriend or some shit. Word?
DO NOT do these things:
- Do not be late or ditch your pals: This one is easy. If you make plans, don’t be a flakey flakerson. If I wake up at 4:30am to meet you and you don’t show up, you get exactly one free pass with #smh, but then….I’m going to throat punch you and everyone you love.
- Do not forget to pay the f**k attention: If someone is running next to you and a car comes by, don’t box them out. If you’re the only one who knows the route, don’t leave friends in the dust or get distracted, take a wrong turn and get everyone lost. Don’t forget your head lamp and mooch off someone else’s light. Don’t ask tons of questions that require long answers to someone who is clearly wicked out of breath just because you think it’s funny or you are also out of breath and don’t want to talk. And definitely don’t be like me and do all of the above in the span of 6 miles like I did this morning (shout out to my gracious & patient running pals!).
- Don’t be an annoying breather: Your granola-yogi-kiegel-exercise reverse inhalation followed by a strangled-samurai-goosefart exhalation may be working for you… but it’s weird. And gross. And no one wants to hear that or feel your hot breath on their neck for 10 feet, nevermind several miles.
- Don’t be a know it all: Different runners need different things and thrive on different plans. Don’t continuously pummel your running friends with a barrage of advice they didn’t ask for and don’t shit all over their dreams. As soon as you do, they’re going to start running faster than you, so that A. they don’t have to listen to you anymore and B. they kick your ass at the next race and shut you up for good.
- Don’t forget to vary your route: As in any relationship, things can get stale if you don’t spice it up every now and then. Make it a point not to run by the same cow 3 times a week. Get crazy and run up that hill you always avoid for a change. Party bus it 20 minutes to a new start/end point in a random place you’ve never run before.
In all seriousness though, find good runfriends and cherish them. There is a secret code for this that all runners know and that’s that we take care of our own because we are all the same sort of crazy and love every minute of it. I may not know you yet, you secret blog following super fan of mine… but I know you’re reading this and I got your back bro.
Run, wine, clinkity-clink & ahhhhdrinkity-drink,