Over the past few years I have noticed a change in my environment and my interactions with many of my running friends. It is getting difficult if not impossible to find time to see my friends that I used to see quite regularly. Some friends moved out of the neighborhood to larger homes far away, some friends have become very busy and/or unavailable. No one can book fun race vacations anymore. In 2014, I actually went to Disney World by myself because all the people that used to go and said they wanted to go bailed.
There is one common denominator to all of these issues – my friends all had babies (which I now call “funsuckers” because they instantly suck the fun out of a person’s life, and by association they suck a little fun out of my life). Friends can’t do that race unless they allow strollers, can’t run that day because they don’t have a babysitter, can’t have an adult conversation at dinner because the funsucker is cranky/tired/hungry/needs a diaper change, can’t even meet for drinks to talk about how much fun it used to be to run together because they have to put the funsucker to bed promptly at too-effing-early-o-clock.
I don’t even feel like I have anything in common with my friends that have had funsuckers. I don’t care about breast feeding or formula or rice cereal or day care drama or potty training or how many words they know or the cutest little outfits and activities they have. I want to talk about restaurants and recipes and books and movies and adventures and races in far off places and even common running topics like “going” or “not going” pre-race or God forbid having to “go” in the middle of a race.
I get it that I am at the age where that is the normal thing for people to do. I am happy for my friends and their adorable families. I DO love that all my friends are awesome, smart, healthy, active types that will raise awesome, smart, healthy, active kids. And I know it is extremely selfish and maybe a little rude, but I WANT MY FRIENDS BACK (without funsuckers). I’ve realized that I have no interest in taking care of a helpless little human copy of half my DNA and the little funsuckers my friends have while they were cute at first kind of really annoy me now. Not because they individually are bad kids or do anything particularly annoying, only for the single fact that they rob me of time with my friends.
I’ve tried to branch out and meet some new running friends, but the only runners without funsuckers are 20-somethings without my 30-something metabolism that can eat and drink whatever they want, maintain a lean body and clock in an 8 minute mile easily and say “ugh, I feel so slow.” Meanwhile I’m over here swearing at my scale and giving it the middle finger trying to remember what the eff did I eat this week that made me gain 2 more pounds and why do all my runs feel like I am sprinting up a hill with a sled full of sand bags tied to my waist. When I think I actually ran pretty fast and I look down at my Garmin and it says the last mile was 12:09, I just stare in disbelief. It has to be broken.
I’m in a funk lately and I think that makes me even more irritated by the funsuckers and absence of my old routine with my running friends. It’s not their fault. Several things contributed to it. Getting hit by a car on my bike made me stop riding and running more which I think kind of burnt me out and made me not want to run as much, then I got laid off from my job last summer, took a while to find a new job, and the new job is not as close to good running routes, and we had the worst winter ever which made it all too easy to slip back into my couch potato Fatty McFatterson habits. I know these are all just excuses and I have no one to blame but myself. I am struggling to find my groove again and I need to find the motivation I initially had to do it all on my own and get back to a place and a pace where I feel comfortable. I need to get back on my bike and I need to increase my mid-week mileage and I need to cut back on beers and burgers and get back on track. I know what needs to happen and I know I CAN do it because I did it before, but it has been really hard lately.