I’m feeling gushy about the internet.
Over the weekend, I did two fantastic workouts — workouts that I wouldn’t have done without people I met by typing into this little box and other boxes like it.
Saturday it was nearly 10 miles of Presidio trails with Alyssa, catching up on life as the early morning drizzle floated away and left us with views of the sparkling bay.
Sunday it was 50 (fifty!) miles on my bike through Pete’s old stomping grounds in western Sonoma County with Michaela and her friend Karen — neither of whom I knew before the ride. Not that that mattered; it turns out there are few better ways to get to know someone than over four hours of chatty riding, especially when there’s farmland to gush over and burritos to eat and a scavenger hunt to interrupt and a teepee to duck into for some reason.
Neither of these workouts was something I should, frankly, be able to do with ease right now. The ride was more than 10 miles longer than my previous longest, which itself was a mere week earlier; the run was my first time even approaching double digits since the Walnut Creek half. And yet in both cases, it took me by surprise when all of a sudden, I was back at my car, a little confused about where the previous hours had gone.
I’m an introvert by nature. I’ve always liked the idea of having workout buddies, but in practice, I’m terrible at outreach. I’m not the one to strike up a conversation with the person who’s always next to me in yoga class or the woman I see weekly in the pool. (I spent probably three weeks trying to figure out how to talk to the other pool runner at my gym before she finally just pulled up next to me and said, “Training for something?”)
But when the person on the other end of the interaction is a blogger, or a Twitter-er, or a Dailymile friend, it’s a little easier, somehow. We know something about each other’s paces and preferences. The introduction is done already, with characters and pictures on a screen instead of words I need to babble out loud.
So thanks, little internet boxes, for helping me get over my fears of other people — especially riding with other people. I’d see pictures or hear stories about little groups riding together and having long, deep conversations, and I just couldn’t understand how it happened. Like, physically, how? How do you hear each other? How do you stay close enough together without crashing? (I was always the caboose of my tri group rides last year, so this was never an issue.) Turns out, as long as you talk pace beforehand and plan on some places to regroup, it’s not that tough.
Actually, it can be pretty amazing.