I get it having a runner in your life can at times be just a little irritating. Just today I spent at least 15 minuets rationalizing why I needed discontinued (possibly worn) winter running tights (that I already own) for Christmas. You should also know these are now above retail and now have exorbitant shipping as well. But I was successful in arguing my case. Maybe I should have been a lawyer but it’s also possible they agreed just to shut me up. That was probably only fun for me. We can be a nutty bunch, besides talking about running all the time, spending a crazy amount of money on used pants and bouncing between tiered and full of energy all the time there are some good points too. I at least would argue that the pros in this case outweigh the cons.
On demand forecasts
Runners are almost always thinking about the possibility of going running either right now or really, really soon. Even if there is no possible way that we’re going to be running in the next few hours we’re still thinking about it and planning the best potential outfit. That means we know what to wear to be outside at noon, 2 pm, supper time, the early evening and right before bed. Personally I have three weather apps installed on my phone, 2 bookmarks on my computer and on demand forecasts available on my apple watch face. On average I check the hourly forecast on them at least 5 times a day. So when someone looks up at the clouds and asks is it going to rain we answer with “there is a 10% chance of showers for the next 2 hours, 30% after that and the rain starts at 9.” But I’m here to tell you you’re underusing this resource because we know the humidex value, windspeed and approximate UV index too.
Do you ever have one of those days where you start listing all the things you have to do today it’s 8 am and you’re just not going to make it all happen. Well a runner can help you with that too! Even if you never ever hear about it training runners live like this for months at a time every single year. The truth of the matter is that dedicated runners often feel pretty guilty about missing other things because of our training so we feel a lot of pressure to get it all done AND run. That means we spend months of the year mentally juggling our work and family obligations and having quality time with everyone and running 75+ km a week. Chances are if you’re feeling overwhelmed you can hand that list over to your runner who will squint and stare at it before building in efficiencies and having you back on the couch by 7 or 8 at the latest! But expect that they’ll be going for a run right after it’s over!
Remote emergency rescue
Do you head out into the woods for your R & R? Are you a hunter, mountain biker or hiker? If so you know there are some inherent risks in what you love to do. You might have an accident, no cell service and be unable to rescue yourself when all that happens. Then you’ll have no choice to sit, wait and hope that some one sends search and rescue and that they find you in time. That is not the case if you bring an endurance runner with you. Having a runner accompany you on your riskier adventures is like bringing your own energizer fueled, satellite enabled, early warning recovery personal with you wherever you go. Which is to say we’re pretty handy to have in a pinch. Remember that movie 127 hours where a loner mountain biker heads out on his own only to end up with his armed pinned under a giant rock. After days of terrible pain, drinking pee and fending off wildlife he has no choice but to cut off his own arm with a rusty dull blade. Well if he had just brought a runner with him the whole thing could have been avoided with the sentence “stay right there I’ll be back in a couple of hours with a helicopter!” But then James Franco would have never been nominated for an Oscar so there is that.
Community based intel
Runners pass by the same sights in your little part of the world over and over pretty dang slowly and sometimes that gets a little boring. When the mind is bored it tends to pick up on patterns. Then we tend to notice all the goings on which you can read about in more detail here. We also might get the inside story of what those sirens were all about the night before from the 6 am crowd. The nice thing about having a runner in you life is getting all the gossip without freezing you butt off before sunrise!
Early morning game plans
Races all start at a$$-O’clock in the morning even when they don’t have to. Runners have to be up, dressed, packed, ready, hyped up, fed, hydrated, caffeinated, parked and have visited the restroom by the time they hit that start line at sunrise. That’s a lot to manage and it all has to be done in a very specific way for every single race. While that may sound terrible we do this multiple times a year and pay for the privilege to do so on purpose! If you have a reason to be up and ready to go long before the first thing in the morning for some reason ask a runner for help and we’ll make you the spread sheet that gets it all done!
I would make the point that even though having a runner around can be irritating from time to time overall it’s a net benefit. Do you have a runner in your life? What’s your favorite thing their running does for you? If you are a runner what to you bring to other’s lives that is so rudely overlooked? Leave it in the comments below!