Thursday, March 24, 2011

A social miss

I mentioned in a recent post about joining the local running group here. (this is not the one that I was originally going to join last year, this one is literally just 3.5 miles from my house) They meet twice a week--Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings. The first Saturday I went was great. I immediately met a guy and just started talking to him throughout our run. However, on the next several occasions, I've pretty much run by myself. There have been people, but either people already pair off together or the group easily disperses. On my last Saturday run, I kind of thought, "well heck if no one is going to run with me (there were only a few who were actually running that specific mileage), then I could just be doing this by myself."

See, I think this is part of the problem. I tend to hold a bit of an idealistic hope of something, and then when it doesn't happen, I feel discouraged. What I had envisioned was that I would have a running buddy to talk to just about the entire time I was running or at least for half of it. I realize this is not everyone else's envision, however. And so, I need to change my view a bit.

I've come to the conclusion that the real social time seems to be the before and after party of a run. Last night, there was an invitation to go to a happy hour at a nearby pub. To me, this completely defeats the purpose of running in the first place. I mean why down yourself with alcohol after a good, hard run. Many would counter this argument with the fact that alcohol does have calories and carbohydrates, both of which your body needs after that much exertion. I've also heard some say that a good, cold beer after a run is simply just good. I guess I will never discover that, because I honestly have never acquired a taste for beer and have no desire to either. It would have to be a fru-fru drink laced with vodka and fruitiness to even be in the realm of my liking.

Anyway, I had the opportunity to go, knowing I could have just ordered an iced tea and I guess been "social." I mean this is partly why I joined this group. Tovah, by the way, has been a real hit, and they just love her. A few of them asked me if I was going to come, and I sort of made the excuse that I wouldn't be able to take Tovah with me (the place does have an outdoor cafe but it is not open yet), though it probably was cool enough to have left her in the car. The other fact was that I was really hungry and did not want to spend money on pub-fare--very typical of burgers, fries, etc.

I told my mom about this on the phone, and she seemed really upset that I didn't go. I think my parents still fear I isolate myself too much and want me to date, join groups, etc. I guess I'm feeling like if I complain that I have no social life, then I do need to make more effort to do these types of activities just to "be social" even if I may not completely enjoy them. But then another part of me counters that with, if it is not fun, then you essentially fulfill a self-prophecy--See you went to this event and it was no fun=social events aren't fun.

But here is where my counteracting self must talk. Okay, so I didn't go this event, but there will be another chance on Saturday after everyone's long run. I should go, because it might be fun, and I might get to know people better, and this is why you joined the running group.

Saturday, after out long run, we are invited for free massages and a breakfast/brunch at nearby cafe. It will certainly be cool enough (it dropped 30 degrees this morning) to leave Tovah in the car should I choose to bring her. So I'm going to try hard to keep the social event on my calendar. My only reservation is this may be like eating two breakfasts very close in time together, and that may feel a little uncomfortable. :-/


Carrie Arnold said...

I think you're one of my long-lost twins. I did a mountain biking group once, and the same thing happened. I wasn't planning on going to the bar with everyone, but the ride was super strenuous and I was an hour away, so I did end up getting dinner (but not drinks--I have zero tolerance and needed to drive an hour home). I haven't gone back because it really wasn't for me, but I have done other road biking things. Again, same issue with not wanting to join them for a meal.

I know I need to push myself on this. I think the anticipation is always worse than the actual event!

Missy said...

You can do it.
Do it even if after your run you feel like not doing it.

Lisa said...

You're strong in every way possible. I'm still not allowed to excercise but I think that the friend thing- I totally relate to. I just moved to Denver and I was hoping that I'd find a friend in my group therapy and I have but it's not like I'm spending time w/her and such- Just in therapy. Eating disorders and social lives are hard!

Anonymous said...

I really miss the social-side of sports.
I remember rowing camps and orienteering camps that were about people, fun, boys, and sometimes even this shy teenage trying to drink a whole bear;) than "something" happened and it sport events became kind of survivals and evenings spent alone in my tent. I am still trying to enjoy sports and events after them, but I am afraid I won't be able to just think like when sport was just fun and people.

I hope your saturday morning will be successfull! Massage sounds great! I always dread such things, but almost never regret it.

Xxx Ola

Cammy said...

Sorry you felt a bit disappointed, but I think your analysis of it is great, I'm glad you thought it out instead of just blaming yourself for skipping the social and feeling bad. It sounds like the next event will be a great challenge to try to tackle. Yes, it may change your eating pattern for the day, but it's just one day, you can be back to routine the next morning and no worse for the wear?

And I'm with you on the beer issue. An alcoholic beverage must look and taste approximately like a Jolly Rancher in order for me to let it near my mouth.

Hang in there and remember THEY are the ones that are lucky to get to know YOU!