Never Have I Ever: Running Edition

Wow. What a morning, America.

I must say, I never thought I would applaud someone’s death — that’s such a grim thought — but over the past few days, with both the Royal Wedding and Osama Bin Laden’s death, I’ve felt so much American pride. I love when the country comes together (of course, we came together for the Royal Wedding, which wasn’t even happening here, but whatever) and surges with emotion. It warms my heart.

And what better way to celebrate living in the heart of it all — New York City — than with a run through Central Park?

This morning I had my second running date! I’m turning into quite the running buddy whore now, aren’t I? (I have a third date later this week!)

Megan and I had planned to meet at Engineer’s Gate in Central Park at 6:15 am.

That meant no morning dawdling.

Just wake up, use the bathroom, get dressed, use the bathroom again, do some abs, put running watch on, then freak out and use the bathroom one last time, just to be safe.

I wanted to wear a red, white and blue running outfit, but I didn’t have one, so I settled on my National Half Marathon shirt.

What? It screams patriotism to me. The race was in D.C. That’s as American as it gets.

I was a little nervous about running with Megan. If you read her blog (which you obviously should), you know that she’s a running superstar. She’s fast. Real fast. Like, qualifies for Boston fast, and I didn’t want to hold her back.

Remember, I get anxiety about running dates.

But my fears were eased when we covered 6.5 miles together at a comfortable, conversational pace.

Megan introduced me to Central Park’s bridle path, which I’ve been wanting to explore more. After this weekend’s long run, my knees definitely appreciated the softer surface.

I always hear people saying that when you run with someone else, the miles fly by. I never bought it. People are crazy.

But it was so true this morning. My watch kept beeping after each mile we finished and I was shocked. We chatted about everything from blogging and boys to our first half marathon experiences.

It was an awesome start to my day. So thank you, Megan, for further easing my apprehension about running with friends. I had a great time!

Also, there were pretty flowers on my way home.

I wish I could say I liked those flowers, but the way my allergies are acting up makes me want to cut them up and murder them.

Sorry. Brief moment of allergy-induced rage.

Back to my point: buddy running is cool, even though I always refused to do it.

For so long I said I would never run with someone else. I was too worried about going too fast, going too slow, taking too many action photos or having to stop and go to the bathroom mid-run (which, as I’ve learned, all runners understand/have been there). I’ve always viewed running as an individual activity, not a team sport.

But lately I’ve really enjoyed having running company. Realizing that this morning that got me thinking about other things I swear I’d never do. There are some things I still stand by, but other things I’m more open to.

In the spirit of the game we all loved playing so that we’d get really drunk in college, here’s my list of running-related things I’ve never done.

Never Have I Ever…

  • Stopped to pee during a race. Nope. I’m a “just keep going, you’re almost done” kind of girl.
  • Run in just a sports bra. Yeah, that’s still not something that’s going to happen. I keep my shirt on, thank you.
  • Fueled with a Gu or gel. That will probably change soon, but they make me and my stomach very nervous.
  • Run more than 7 miles without music. That may change, too, if I keep doing longer runs with friends. But for a long time music was my main source of motivation.
  • Worn a running skirt. Meh. Not really my thing. I’m a short shorts kind of girl.
  • Run a race with a friend. Sure I’ve signed up with friends, but I’ve never started and finished with a buddy. I need to get in the zone and do my own thing.
  • Not wanted to PR. What? I’m competitive. With myself, at least.
  • Run in any borough other than Manhattan. It’s where I live, so it’s easiest, but this will change on May 21 when I run the Brooklyn Half Marathon.
  • Run a marathon! Come September 24 this will officially come off the “Never Have I Ever” list and I can’t wait.

YOUR TURN: Finish the phrase, obviously. Never have I ever ________________.



0 Responses

  1. this is such a fun game, ali!

    never have i ever gone on a run longer than 6 miles with a running buddy.

    never have i ever gone for a run in just a sports bra.

    never have i ever skipped a run because it was cold outside. raining yes, cold no.

  2. I love this.
    Never have I ever run a marathon(until this October!)

    I have recently discovered how amazing running buddies can be too, who knew? It’s like a whole new experience!

  3. I’ve also never ever stopped to pee…the feeling usually goes away after a few minutes. I have, though, started a race late because I was in the porta-potty.
    I’ve also never ran a marathon, but that will be changing in August! Woo!

  4. I *have* stopped to pee during a race and it made me SO MAD. It was during the Chicago Marathon and I kept thinking that I would “sweat it out,” but when that didn’t happen, I very begrudgingly stopped at mile 7 to pee. And wait on line for seven minutes.

    Never have I ever drank coffee before a race. And never will I. My stomach needs no extra help.

    Never have I ever run in just a sports bra. (Though I’d love to. One day.)

    Also, I’m not familiar with this “never have I ever” sans alcohol…

  5. Never have I ever run more than 13.1 Miles! Nice job on your long run yesterday btw!!! That’s awesome, was it harder to run that far without being in a race? I’m not sure I’m at the point where I could do a 1/2 marathon (or farther) without a big crowd around me haha.

    You’ve been running for a while now and seem to run pretty consistently, have you ever encountered an injury?

    1. Thank you! It actually wasn’t hard to run far without being in a race. I just zoned out and tried to appreciate the scenery. Plus, NYC is always so crowded with runners — you may as well be on a race course!

      So far (knock on wood) I haven’t experienced any debilitating injuries. My knees do give me trouble sometimes but foam rolling has helped a lot with that.

  6. Never have I ever taken a gu during a race. Those things skeeve me out and make my stomach hurt just thinking about them.

    Never have I ever stopped during a race to pee. I’m also a hold it till it’s over kind of girl.

    Never have I ever been so scared for our security as I am right now since Bin Laden’s death. hello retaliation. I hope not, but it’s scary.

  7. I can’t believe the only borough you’ve run in is Manhattan! We need to get you on some bridges to Queens and Brooklyn stat!!

    Never have I ever…run a 50 miler. My next race goal!! I doubt if I’ll ever get there though. 🙂

    Btw…I totally get running date anxiety too. I’m always scared of not being able to keep up or needing a break when the other person doesn’t need one. Need to get over that.

  8. I don’t like to run with other people for the same reason! In my race this weekend, (first one:) ) my friend decided last minute she was going to run. I was so nervous.. thinking.. hope she doesnt plan on running with me because she is so fast and I will hold her back! Obviously she wasn’t planning on staying with me. She placed 3rd female overalL!

  9. I wish I could teleport to NYC and run with you ladies!! Running dates are the best.
    I love your running “never have I ever” list!! Let’s see…
    Never have I ever run a race with an ipod (something about no music is more intense for me.)
    Never have I ever used a fuel belt or anything like it.
    Never have I ever taken an ice bath.

  10. Happy running! Was great to meet you at the press conference for Run for the Rabbit – good luck! Never have I ever…. run a marathon! Not sure about that one yet.

  11. never have I ever not been secretly (or not so secretly) happy when I beat my current boyfriend, any exboyfriend or any girl who has dated the same boy as me during a race. i’m a competitive bitch.

    never have I ever raced in costume. but i would.

    never have I ever understood people who claim to not like running. what’s not to love?

    ps this was really tough for me. there’s not much i’m not willing to do when it comes to running.

  12. Yay for running buddy dates! I’m just starting to run with people more often and the miles do fly by!
    Never have I ever… run a race with headphones! I prefer to soak up the crowds/experience on race day. I train with music, mostly, but never on race day! I feel like I’m in the minority on this one.

  13. Love this idea! I’m with you on the first 5, except for the GU one. When you run a marathon you need it. I’m sure you’ll quickly agree with me 🙂

    Never have I ever run in another country. I’d love to run a half/full marathon in another country one day! I’ve run in Staten Island and Queens half marathons. Love love the Staten Island half. You should consider it. It’s a good one!

  14. I’m so glad we ran together this morning 🙂 I told you I wasn’t scary!!! (haha, I hope not anyway…) Sometimes I appreciate running solo and getting lost in my thoughts, but having a buddy really does make the time go by fast.

    Hmm, never have I ever –
    1) DNF (did not finish) a race. Although I have DNS (did not start) a few due to injury.
    2) Run with my hair down – I agree w/ Grace. Ponytails are necessary.
    3) Run a race in another country (although I would like to change this!!)

  15. Never have I ever … biked more than 20 miles, and this changed yesterday when I biked 50 total for the five boro bike tour! Glad to say my legs are doing pretty well today, thanks to overall fitness … but my butt is not. doing. okay. at. all. Awful bike seats. Anyway, I’m a total fan of cross-training, and I’m now very close to buying a bike. I already have a helmet!

    For a REAL never have I ever … Never have I ever …
    – Ran more than 15 miles in one go
    – Ran with my hair down (I still can’t believe it when I see girls in races do this … HOW?)
    – Ran a longer race without my knees being the only reason I hold back and slow down (can someone please help me with this?)

    If you can, Ali, please post more details about foam rolling and knees! I remember you said this helped a lot, but I have no idea what to buy / what to do. And my poor little knees are crying all the time.

  16. haha I felt like I should be clapping or snapping or adjusting the number of fingers I had up during your little list. too bad that would probably land me some awkward stares around here….

    But, in the spirit of your running related version of the game, never have I ever run more than 6.2 miles, run with just a sportsbra on top (prob never will, either….you’re welcome, rest of the world!), run with a friend.

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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