Dilemma over somebody who wants to run with me

I do one of my three weekly c25k sessions during Parkrun, one with a friend and one on my own. My friend is much fitter than me but is happy to slow down to my pace for the c25k session. It's lovely running with her, she is so supportive and we have a good laugh.

I enjoy my solo session, going out early in the morning and always come home feeling a sense of achievement.

Parkrun is usually fun as well even though I am always one of the last to finish, but I know as I progress through c25k I will get stronger and faster and it's giving me something to aim for.

All good so far. But, and I don't want to sound mean and nasty,a very nice lady I have recently met keeps asking if she can join me on my morning run, and wants to come with me and my friend on our evening session. She is a really nice person but I always feel that I have to be on my best behaviour with her as she's quite serious. I like my own company and don't want to have to share that little bit of me time on my morning run. We haven't got a lot in common and it's beginning to make me uncomfortable that she's trying to tag along with several things I do.

Am I just a mean minded beast? 😕

22 Replies

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  • That's a difficult one! No, I don't think you're mean, sometimes me-time is very important and I know exactly how you feel. I think you'll just have to break it to her that you need "me-time" and running is the only time you get, so, no, she can't come with you! A bit more politely, maybe!

  • No, you're not. But it is going to be difficult to say truthfully that you prefer running by yourself given that two of your three runs a week are with other people... although you'd be pretty safe saying you want to keep the morning run solo.

    Do you have an idea why she is wanting to run with you - because she doesn't feel confident running by herself, or some other running specific thing you could perhaps divert elsewhere or because she's is saying "Let's be friends"... and thus your big problem is that you don't want to be friends with her? How about suggesting she joins you for ParkRun?

  • Maybe an acceptable compromise might be to let her join your evening session with your friend and see how it goes...

    But wanting some space and "me-time" doesn't make you a mean or selfish person so do not let her pressure you into doing something that makes you feel uncomfortable.

  • I'd pick a time to let her run with you ( possibly the park run ) and keep the early mornings to " me time ". Everyone needs it , I find an early run on my own is great for mindfulness . It's not mean to keep this for yourself . You need it

    There will be plenty of other opportunities for her to run with you as you progress, but some alone time is precocious 👣

  • I can see why you think you may be being mean but you are doing this for you so need to do it in the way that makes you happiest. Can you just explain to her that you are really sorry but your way of running provides you with the variety that you want and you don't want to change it at the moment?

  • Sounds like a plan, RunningGeek . I also don't always know what time I am going to get up and set out and can do without the added pressure of having to be up and out to meet her at a given time.

  • Hadn't thought about the logistics of it all. Have to say I like the freedom of walking out my door when I choose with no planning :-) Good luck with however you choose to deal with it and, more importantly, happy running :-)

  • Slippery slope. You need to stand firm on your solo run, and probably with your evening run, too. If you allow her to run with you and it doesn't work out, you'll then have to find a way to stop. Easier not to start.

    Invite her to parkrun. That's a social event. Maybe your friend is not a confident runner and parkrun will be too much? If so, that is not really your problem either.

    Maybe a compromise is to find an alternative time for you to run (once) with this friend to find out how it goes. Perhaps one Sunday afternoon, no strings attached. But I think your friend needs to explain what she wants to get out of the shared run and what level she is at. Reassurance? Company? Beginner? Experienced?

  • She is very experienced! She did Parkrun a few weeks ago for the first time and walked the whole way. The next week she ran and did it in under 30 mins. She is a retired fitness instructor and very fit so I can't actually understand why she wants to run with me. She knows that I am right at the beginning of my running journey.

  • Oh wow. Then she very clearly has no idea about instructing fitness. Has she not learned how personal running can be? You could politely tell her that you have your weekly running organised to your satisfaction and have no room for other arrangements. Sounds like she wants you to be her personal 'project'. You're not sure that you want to run with this person... how are you going to feel when she starts organising your runs and turning up to run with you with a 'first we're going to do a warm-up and then I want to see you doing intervals... not like that, you are not running correctly... push, push, feel the burn... ?????????

  • Eeekk, MarkyD !!! My language would become less than ladylike, lol. Your thoughts just make me more determined to stand my ground and run solo. Thanks.

  • Short answer is no. Everyone else has said the same. Give her an option to join on your other runs if you want to but the morning time is your little bit of me time that everyone needs. Don't get me wrong if you're looking for a partner to join you in the mornings then fine but there's no need to let someone else join in your personal runs if you don't want to. Everyone needs that bit of space and when you're running you may want to try something different and that's entirely personal.

    If you're looking for a simple way out you can always say that your morning runs are not necessarily planned/scripted and you decide on the day whether you go out or not. Two out of your three runs are scheduled but you have the right to have one run that's random.

  • Thanks for that. OldWheezer . Random is what my morning runs are, and I really do want to do them alone so I will man up and tell her if she asks again to come with me.

  • Thanks, everyone, for your comments. I will have to try and be diplomatic with her. There's no way that she's coming on my random solo morning runs. That will continue to be my time until I choose to change that. :)

  • You're not being mean at all. I would feel exactly the same! The thing is, it's not as if you've invited her along and are now changing your mind. She's inviting herself, and I'm afraid if you do that you need to be prepared for the other person to say no. She's not entitled to come and you're not obliged to let her. That's not mean: it's perfectly OK!

    You could say to her 'I'm afraid my morning runs are my really precious alone-time, but we'll catch up at ParkRun!'

    If you did want to invite her to your evening run, as you say she is really nice, you could just invite her as and when you fancy it. If she's nice there might be no harm inviting her to, say, one in every three or four runs with your friend. It might be a compromise for you all. But if you don't want to, don't to it, it's OK! :)

  • You are right, miss_august . She said she won't be there tomorrow at Parkrun and I will be doing both of next week's runs early in the morning and will miss the following Parkrun myself so I am not actually going to see her for a while. Maybe she will have got over the idea by the time we next meet.

  • Agree with everyone else. Absolutely keep your morning run to yourself. I enjoyed the Park Run and will go again, but I wouldn't run with anyone else as I enjoy the variation I do. I often don't decide where I am going until a junction then think "left this time".

    I certainly wouldn't like to arrange times and routes with someone else.

    One thing to consider though. Is she likely to turn up as you are setting off? You may need to make sure she cannot be sure of your routine.

    We once did someone a favour by walking their dog, they offered to pay but we didn't want the commitment that would bring. We ended up having to change our route so that we didn't pass the house so that our dog could enjoy his walk in peace. (We couldn't let the other dog off the lead after he ran quite a long way home and was hit by a car on the way. He wasn't hurt but the driver and child passenger were shaken up, as was I). So beware of a one-off becoming a regular arrangement.

  • Sorry to hear about your dog problem, RunaroundSue . That was a scary experience :(.

    I am going to make sure that I don't give away where or when I am running alone. Then she can't possibly turn up and be waiting for me. I always decide on my route once I am on the go, so it is a completely random session. The only unchanging variable is that Laura is going along with me in my ears. :)

  • By the way, this dilemma should be forwarded to that TV programme; "Very British Problems": how can I say "thank you but no, sorry" instead of moving to a new town (or country) as an excuse? XD

  • Haha, secan :). What it is to be a Brit. It'll be thanks but no thanks. And no sorry either!

  • Awkward situation. Hope you find a way around it but telling her yourcmorning runs are not scheduled but spontaneous and younactually really enjoy the freedom of running alone is pretty reasonable and inoffensive. However she may retaliate by asking to join your evening run with your friend, so you'll need to be prepared for that.

  • :). I'm hoping that by the next time I see her she'll have got over the idea. If not, I'm ready to stand my ground.

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