So what made yesterday so different? Ian and I ran a 5k together.

I knew that it was going to take me about an hour to get from work to Soldier Field, so I lugged my running gear around all day and met Ian at an ‘l’ stop near the race. We walked over to the start line and I finished getting ready.

When we arrived I couldn’t believe how many people were there. It was incredible! I love that people want to spend their Thursday evenings running ;). We checked our bag and then walked over to the corrals. I’m unsure how RAM Racing did the corrals because Ian and I weren’t placed in the same one. Actually, I was a corral behind him. I don’t recall us having to specify an estimated finish time when we registered but even still I’ve always run RAM races in corral A or B. Oh well. I snuck into Ian’s corral and we ran together.

Ian was so tired excited to run :P.

RAM Racing did a great job spacing out the runners. Corrals went off about minute and a half which really helped the bunching. The course was still incredibly crowded BUT it could have been a lot worse.

Ian could be a really good runner but he just doesn’t love running. In fact, I’m not even sure he likes it all that much but because he’s a great boyfriend and likes to support the things I do, on occasion he will suggest that we run a race together. Let me also say that he NEVER trains for them.

Because he makes the sacrifice (and doesn’t train), I do everything I can to make the race a good experience for him. I let him set the pace and try to keep talking to him throughout the run. We slow down when he wants to slow down and walk when he wants to walk. It really becomes his race.

Last night was no different. I didn’t wear my watch and just let Ian dictate the pace. The race was similar to the Big 10k in that we set off south, ran underneath the McCormick center, and then back up the lake shore path. It was also incredibly hot. There was only one water station but given that it was an evening race and near 90 degrees, we really could have used two.

Ian managed to run the first 2.75 miles before he asked me to walk. He was really hot and things were starting to hurt. At one point he looked at me and said “running is not easy”. Amen. We walked about a tenth of a mile before picking up the pace and finishing the race at a run. I was so proud that he was able to finish the race running, it can be so difficult to start running after stopping.

Official Finish Time (for both of us): 30:13 (9:44 min/mile)

I used to have a really difficult time running with someone else, especially if they were slower than me. I would feel like I wasn’t pushing myself very hard and I would get frustrated. However, recently I’ve learned to really appreciate spending time doing something I love with others. I know that one slower run will not kill me but if I am worried that it won’t feel like enough of a workout, I do what I did yesterday, run by myself at a different time so that the other run just seems like a bonus.

I also watch my form. Running at a different pace (slow or fast) can change your form and lead to injury. The key is to change your leg speed but not your gait!

After the race we both grabbed some water and walked around for a little bit. The Terrapin is also a concert but we just weren’t feeling hanging around and neither of us wanted a beer or food just yet. I felt lame leaving but I was ready to go home!

Do you like running with other people? How do you handle running with someone who runs a different pace?