Monday, August 4, 2014

The grand confluence

Those that know me know I'm a bit of a loner. I do my thing, when and where it seems appropriate. For triathlon training this has meant a lot of solo rides and runs. Some of my buddies have asked how I do it. They need company. They need music. They need whatever.

When you go alone, you can get ready at your own pace, and go when it seems best. Sometimes that means bursting out the door to get in a run before something else. Sometimes it means dawdling a bit, waiting to see if the weather will or won't do something, or for a certain much loved fairy to arrive bringing the priceless gift of movement. Runners especially know what I mean.

Getting a work group together for a lunch or something is the worst. People hang around waiting for someone that has to email that spreadsheet, or print a document, or check their calendar. While we're waiting someone goes to round them up. Some eager beaver wants to get back to work, or do something else while we wait. How hard can it be to get somewhere at a particular time? This sort of gong show makes me crazy.

Mostly fitness people are pretty good, but there's a few bad apples I've learned about. Then once you get together there's the all important matter of pace. I'm not a fast runner, not at all. My bike is fast, but I'm not. All too often I get dropped, and that's just annoying. I'd rather have started alone. I've had a few runs with other people that worked out well, (hi Sophia!) but it wasn't enough to tip me over the edge.

This last winter has been a huge change for me. I've run more with another person in the last year or so, than I have in all the time put together since I started this. One thing is that we run at the same pace, and don't have to work at it. Well, a few times I have, but not much. And, the gift beyond price is that she's on time. Ready to go. I love it. (hi Michelle!)

So today a running buddy (hi Amy!) was going to meet at Michelle's house, run to my place, meet Sophia and me, then run back to her house for coffee and home made yummy goodies. I wanted to get outside and move a bit before they arrived. I was walking briskly around when I could see them off in the distance. As they got closer Sophia zoomed into the cup-de-sac and parked. They all arrived on my driveway at the same time, the exact same time. All dressed to run, and ready to go. I've never had such a thing happen before. So off we went. Not quite 4 K, about a half hour, nice and easy.

It was a lovely morning. A nice easy run, great coffee, yummy treats, and wonderful chatting with friends. Linda led an informal yoga session. There were rhubarb fashion lessons. There were sparkle skirts. Did I mention the yummy treats?

Then home and a bit of puttering around. I didn't mow the lawn this weekend, and should have. I didn't work on my year end business paperwork, and should have. Oh well. One must set priorities. BBQ. Wine. Cats. Naps. Runs.

The minimize Facebook exposure project is well underway. I've deleted it from my phone and iPad. No way am I going to let Messenger get access to all my contacts, and take photos/send messages/do whatever privacy violations that Zuck can think of, whenever it wants to. Bah. Easier to do without. And it has been easier to do without. I'm down to about 10 minutes a day.

So my current social media policy. Twitter is in. I'm @keithcartmell if you have a twitter account and want to follow me. This gets you a notification of when I blog, and access to the (semi) witty comments I sometimes make. If we follow each other, we have a way of chatting privately. Hmm, there is a follow me on twitter button on my blog. Has anyone used it? I can't tell where the followers come from, or how they find me.

I intend on blogging for a while yet. There is lots to say that won't fit into 140 characters. I love reader comments, and often respond to them. You do need an account to comment, since I've disallowed anonymous comments. This can be an Open ID, or Google account. A comment on an older blog goes to moderation, and I don't get many, so it might take me a while to notice.

There is email, of course. Yes I know, how primitive. You can find that in the about me section. No instagram, pintrest, tinder, tumblr, snapchat, or anything else. Oh, there's a LinkedIn account, but that's only for people I know professionally. And yeah, there's a Google+ account, but I never look at it.

Here's the photos.
There she is, taking a photo of us at the half way point. You can see it here.

The garden party in full swing, with lessons in rhubarb haute couture.

Outdoor yoga is the bomb. It was relaxing watching someone leading it, and other someones doing it, while I chatted. Maybe I should have done some of the twists.


  1. Oh my...for the first few paragraphs I thought that running with me had been so awful that you weren't ever going to run with people again! I've been running since 2008 and this was the first time I have ever run with other people-it was a pleasure today. I have always been, and always will be, a loner. However, I think the odd group thing will be fun and good for me-especially if there is food at the end.

    1. Today was great! I still run alone lots, mainly for schedule reasons, but often because I have no idea how far or fast I can go, and I want the option of bailing out early. Preferably without ruining someone else's run.

  2. I loved your company today, all of you! I agree that the logistics of planning a group run can be a deterrent but this was a spur of the moment thing that seemed to just work out for everyone and I'm so glad it did. It's great to run with folks like you who are punctual, interestingly and genuinely opinionated (and not afraid to share said thoughts). It’s nice to be with people who know how to share the conversational stage and are able to be flexible around scheduling with the odd spur of the moment thing thrown in when convenient.

    I have run with slow groups and been amazed at how far I can go and how strong my will is.
    I have run with fast groups and been proud, then injured.
    I run alone during the week and it teaches me to listen to my body, take breaks when I need to and go out even when I don't feel like it.

    Thanks for sharing your morning with me! I hope you all feel good if not great tomorrow...

  3. I love running with others, as evidenced by sticking with my run club for over 3 years now. However, it is always special when I can run with the running friends I've gotten to know best. :)

  4. When our garden finally comes together this month, I am absolutely adding rhubarb. Not just so I can be fashionable.

    One of the problems I have yet to solve on group runs is talking and running simultaneously. I've been running with a faster group at work lately and boy is it challenging. If I'm gasping for air please don't ask me my thoughts on, well, anything really.

    1. I've had runs like that. Ones that were supposedly easy zone 1 runs. Maybe for everyone else they were, but not me. I was more like zone 4. I figure if I'm running to fast to chat, I'm not doing an easy run anymore. I think you need to find different buddies if you want to chat, or they need to dial it back as well, especially if they can't chat either.


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