While I've run a whole bunch with Brandon, I don't consider myself a social runner. The most social I get on runs is nodding, smiling (although I'm sure it seems more like grimacing most of the time) and waving to other runners/cyclists that I pass.
No, what I mean is having a running buddy to chat with and pass the time with and have FUN with out on the run. When Brandon and I hiked Sabino, some of the runners we saw were hardcore, sure. But there were also a few groups, both male and female, that were chatting the whole time up and the whole time back down.
I tried this today. Brandon and I have been trying to get my brother's girlfriend, Nicole, out for a run for a while now. With both of our respective significant others out of town currently, I succeeded tonight.
So, I took Nicole out on my short run for the week (3.19mi) and took it slow ... which I didn't mind due to a few reasons:
1. I wanted to stick with her on this
2. She started chatting right off the bat and I knew my normal pace wouldn't let me keep talking
3. The slow pace made me really concentrate on my form
4. I noticed after the run my feet weren't killing me like they have been lately
It ended up being probably the slowest run I've done so far this year (or close to it), with a 36:44.45 time and an 11:31.05/mi pace, but for the most part, I don't care.
Because, surprise surprise, the run was FUN. I actually really enjoyed being out there chatting on the run. The run also felt easy, even up the hills. I know it wasn't as easy for Nicole since she hasn't been running as much as I have lately, but I know she enjoyed herself as well.
So, while it was a lot slower than I'm used to and it kills my monthly/yearly average (boo. oh well), it was totally worth it to be able to truly enjoy a run for a change ... which is tough given the damn hills around here. ;)