“Run through it” are words sometimes used by runners or coaches when a runner experiences a cramp, mental limitation, or mild pain during a training run or race. Many times we can “run through it” if it is a situation where we simply need to push “mind over matter.” We all know it is not a good idea to run through an injury, but the coach in me thought it might be a good idea to mention that anyway.
We run through so many things – rain, sun, heat, humidity, pain, sadness, joy, depression, new places and old familiar ones, conversation, awkward silence, the past, the present, and we hope to continue running into the future. I am blessed with a varied group of training partners. I have trained through super chatty running buddies who don’t let you get a word in, but also some great conversations that have had some great give and take. Once I ran an 11 miler with two guys and the three of us did not say a word. I am pretty sure I was running fairly hard in order to keep up with them so a conversation was probably out of the question for me anyway, but I am sure there were moments of awkward silence.
Today I had the pleasure of running an easy seven miles with two of my high school runners. They both run cross country, track, and lots of road races with me throughout the year. We just came off a two-a-day workout on Friday which included the Picnic Island Adventure Run, an easy three miles on Saturday, plus a busy weekend and not enough sleep. So the three of us, barely awake, started our weekly long run at a leisurely pace with a little conversation added in. After a couple of miles I noticed that all three of us were silent. We were approaching the turn around point and I became more and more aware of the silence and began thinking that it was awkward and I should break it with some small talk or something. But, I didn’t. I let myself run through the silence. I let myself enjoy the run and just enjoy being with them. On our way back with about a mile to go we started chatting again.
It wasn’t until a little later in the day that I really thought about the run and the silence. I have known these two girls for almost four years now. I realized that although I enjoy our conversations and hearing their perspectives on life, we are comfortable enough with each other that we can just be. We can run, be together, enjoy being outside, respect each other’s work ethic and reasons for being out there, and not say a word. Who knew running through silence would be so enlightening.