Running Camaraderie

Twitter and blogland were quiet over the weekend. So many of the usual names and faces that I have grown to appreciate seeing on a daily basis were missing.

They were busy preparing for the Boston marathon. In the days before my own race I could barely put a sentence together, so I’m forgiving of their absence.

I went for a run yesterday morning even though I was a little tired and it was much too hot. Since so many blogosphere friends were running that massive race (27000 people?), I wanted to share a tiny part of the experience.

It got me thinking about camaraderie. It’s a great word. I even like how it’s spelled.

Camaraderie is defined as community and companionship, fellowship and brotherhood.

I felt it for those racers in Boston.

In many ways I am an introvert. I am not shy, far from it, but I often avoid large social situations because they drain me of my energy.

I liked a party as much as the next teenager back during those years (God knows I did), but since then, a really great time consists of me alone in bed with my remote control.

This is much to my husbands chagrin. My oldest friends are aware of this personality quirk and my total pleasure in being all alone.

However, when it comes to the running community I feel an odd pull to be with them. I feel like don’t judge me. They allow me to be who I am one hundred percent. I am supported.

It’s not that the rest of the world scares me. I’m tough, I can handle it. It doesn’t much matter if I’m not liked by any random person. Who can like everyone? I don’t like everyone, but I always give a person a chance.

There is a reason that I’ve fallen so madly for the bloggers in the community. They are like-minded. They run. They write. They are my people.

Late yesterday I saw this interview with Wesley Corir, the men’s first place finisher for Boston 2012. I fell in love with him instantly. The way he describes his innermost thoughts about (and during) the race are the very essence of what running is.

On some level all runners have an introvert inside them. Running long distances forces you to be alone with yourself. Your own thoughts are what will make or break you. It’s up to you and no one else to cross the finish line and your choices up to that point are highlighted by a brightly timed finish at the end.

When we finish, no matter when or how, having people to share in the experience makes it more richly rewarding than anything else I know.

Congratulations to everyone who raced and won yesterday, no matter the time on the clock. You all deserve your newest race bling and a great big round of applause!