Running and Social Anxiety

By | February 23, 2020

If two bloggers meet and we forget to take a photo, did it really happen?

Coco and I had a wonderful catch up over some delicious guacamole and chips on Wednesday evening. When she messaged me realizing we hadn’t taken a photo I said it just meant we needed to see one another again soon.

I’ve talked about my social anxiety here. It’s a challenge, but it’s manageable. I do well in twos and threes, or with a buddy when going into a new place with a larger group. While I have been excited about meeting everyone, I’ve also been a little skittish as the moment approached. New people are scary. I just want to say that I’ve been amazingly lucky to meet four of you within this last month and yeah, it feels like it wasn’t even really “meeting” but rather seeing friends. There were (virtually) no butterflies. Can I just say I love you all, and I hope all of our paths cross soon.

Speaking of people and runners. Did you see Strava’s Why We Run piece?  Nothing earth shattering, but I really like how it was presented.

“Be an ambassador for reading with our new sticker”

I loved this fundraising email from NYPL which said, in part:

Do you remember the first book that made you love reading? Maybe it was something you read as a child, or a gift that you received at exactly the right time.

No matter where, when, or how you came across your first favorite, having even one book that you truly love makes you the best possible ambassador for reading. That’s why we’d like you to be a part of celebrating 125 years of The New York Public Library’s commitment to serving book lovers everywhere.

I don’t really “get” ambassadorships and am generally not the best with social media promotion, but this is one I could will get behind. I am the person after all who bought book dedications as holiday gifts. I read three books while In Bermuda. I was a happy Cari.

I realized in looking at my Athlinks profile for my Half times for the Bermuda recap that I ran three half marathons in 2018, 4 in 2019 and may only have one or two in 2020. I’m going to take some time to train properly for Cherry Blossom and after that I’ll do some thinking about a Half. I really, really love the distance, but I want to do it properly.

Speaking of doing it properly, Cherry Blossom lottery selection comes with Runcoach training, and while I need another app like I need a hole in the head, giving it a go since Runkeeper’s training module keeps getting mad at me because I don’t follow it to the letter.  I am not a very good student at times. I think because for me personally, if running had too many rules I’d rebel against doing it. It’s like books I don’t want to read because they’re assigned.


Sort of a two-week Weekly Run Down with Kim and Deborah, but there wasn’t a lot of running the first week, and I already talked about the exciting running.

Week of 2/10:

  • Monday: off, tickets to see an Off Broadway show
  • Tuesday: off, worked super late
  • Wednesday: off, travel to Bermuda


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by @travellingcari on

  • Thursday: five mile run/walk, mostly walk, exploring Southampton and trying to find flat terrain on which to run. Spoiler: it doesn’t exist.

Still looking for flat terrain. Photo (c) Darlene

I think I can, I think I can. (c) Darlene

  • Friday: a mile and a half shakeout so we wouldn’t have a week off running before the Half marathon. We ended up in the parking lot since the golf course was too hilly
  • Saturday: lighthouse “run”.

Celebrating a Half Marathon. Photo (c) Marcia

Week of 2/17: Deborah’s post came at the perfect time as I thought about my return to running after the hilly Half. This is the first Half my legs didn’t feel trashed after, which was a pleasant surprise.

  • Monday: off, travel home from Bermuda
  • Tuesday: off. Vague gym plans but forgot my exercise bands so did PT at home
  • Wednesday: due to some scheduling, I was able to finally run to PT.  It was nearly a naked run as I got out the door only to realize my Garmin was off (and I can’t remember how to turn it on without plugging it in) and my iPod had offloaded the music app for space. Oops. Luckily I ran with my phone to PT to show him the jumpie and could track the run in Strava. I don’t trust the pace. I haven’t seen that in some time and the GPS was jumpie. but it was a two mile warm up. PT started with a long conversation while he worked on my hip/knee to talk about what the next steps are. It hurts way less than when I started, but I’m not yet pain free. He gave me some hip work to do in the morning to loosen up as that’s my stiffest time. And then when I runfessed to forgetting to plank on the beach and failing a jumpie? He made me pay. Hurts so good. but it helps.
  • Thursday: office run group. We’re sticking with the 3/3.5 ish mile loop for now as we’re not ready for mid-week medium longs. It’s so nice to have it not yet be full dark when we head out.
  • Friday: gym PT. Originally supposed to have my last appointment, but he wants to get in a few more approved visits by going weekly, so we’ll see. I’d hoped to graduate pain free. I don’t think that will happen, but it’s so much better than it was.

Thanks, Shadow, for making me look so tall

haven’t done this run in daylight in a while

the distance was intentional, the time/pace was not. And yes, I actually matched

and in the latest installation of runners not running, Mardi Gras party!

  • Saturday: my shadow and I went out for the first long run of Cherry Blossom training. That route was my summer/fall mid-week medium run and ugh, six miles was hard. Not on the lungs, but on the hip/knee. I stopped a few times to stretch, including this nifty hip semi circle he taught me Wednesday as way to counter morning IT stiffness. I’ve missed the East River run-it’s nice and chill, and flat.  I always love that Triboro marker even though the internet is generally confused on its origin. Here’s a take from Ephemeral New York and A Great Big City. Six seemed to be a good place to re-start training, and we’ll see how it goes.

Never went to a Mardi Gras party before. Not a huge thing here/in my circle, but these friends met in New Orleans and it’s her family tradition and it was such a fun evening. My phone was in my purse/away, so no photos of the amazing jambalaya, etouffee or corn & crab bisque. Trust me, they were delish.

  • Sunday: off. Mani/Pedi. Straighten the apartment. Chill.

Plan for the Week:

  • Monday: morning run before work
  • Tuesday: PT/cross
  • Wednesday: run to PT
  • Thursday: office run group
  • Friday: off/cross/PT
  • Saturday: 7/8 miles
  • Sunday: off

28 thoughts on “Running and Social Anxiety

  1. Deborah Brooks

    I am glad my recovery plan gave you some ideas. I had not read that Strava article but will take a look. I also have to figure out how to train for CB most likely will be doing intervals of some sort. Have a great week and thanks for linking up

    1. Cari

      Yep definite advantage me in you being one week ahead in your Half. That and your Booty one from the other week – at home PT flash cards in the best way.
      So looking forward to Expo meet up!
      Intervals definitely happening here unless some magic does in the next four weeks. That’s part of why I went back down to 6. Everything longer was just really winging it and not in a productive way. Haven’t decided if I’m doing intervals from go or when I wear out.
      I almost talked myself out of it. Again. I had 13mm cut off on the brain and a friend lovingly said “Shut up, go read the website. YOu just did this & can do this.” She’s right. Bermuda was longer & hillier and I came in under the CB cut off even with power walking most of two miles. Oh race jitters. I just didn’t want to get swept into a 5K after the travel time & money.
      GO US

  2. Debbie @ Deb Runs

    I totally get how you feel about meeting new people, even ones we “know” from our blogs and social media. I’m always nervous going into the meet-up, but everyone has been so nice that I’ve immediately forgotten my nervousness as soon as we meet.

  3. Liz Dexter

    Yes, I know what you mean about new people!! But they are generally great, I’ve found. And hooray for great running times and reading, too. I’m also loving it being that bit lighter when I go out to run in the evening – it makes a big difference, doesn’t it.

    1. Cari

      Such a huge difference to have that little bit of light. Whether for running or just being outside.
      And yes, new people have been great to a tee

  4. Chocolaterunsjudy

    I also am not good in large groups. Sometimes even small-ish groups. I truly am an introvert through and through, and I need my alone time. That said, I’ve also met many online friends — like, even as long ago as 15 years or so before it was really thing — and it’s always been a pleasure.

    OTOH, sometimes I have to remind Mr. Judy not to be a hermit. 🙂

    Glad that you’ve had such good meetups! Seriously, though, what could go wrong with Bermuda?

    1. Cari

      Yep. Definitely need my alone time to recharge.
      When I met my first “internet friend” my mom called to make sure she was who she said she was. It was 1998 and I was 18. This was peak Jerry Springer time and everyone was an ax murderer. LOL.

  5. Wendy

    I so enjoy meeting new people, especially people from our blogging world. For the most part, everyone I’ve met is exactly as tthey seemed to me on their blogs! But like Judy, I’m not so good in large groups. I get kind of lost. That’s one of the reasons I stopped socializing in my neighborhood. I have a big personality but the women here make me look meek! It was really tough for me and I always left gatherings feeling badly about myself.

    You’ll love Deborah!

    1. Cari

      Deborah and I met a few weeks ago in NY when she was here and it started off the four week run of her, Marcia, Erika and Coco.. I definitely loved her, and all of them.

      My one bit of nerves was the race expo. There were A LOT of people. Luckily a) Darlene is an excellent wingman and b) we ended up in some small one on one or two conversations, which were much more accessible.

      I’m sorry you felt bad at gatherings. Hugs

  6. Kim at Running on the Fly

    Totally agree with meeting the blogging friends…it feels more like a reunion than a “first-time” meeting. I get a free online coaching thing from Runcoach (for Air Force Marathon). I tried to create a profile with the app, etc. but it kept trying to get me to “start” my training immediately (??) and this race isn’t until mid-September. I need to play around with it more (when I have the time LOL), obviously I’m missing out on some of the details of how the app works.

    1. Cari

      It’s not you, when I logged into the app I had to restart what I’d already done on the laptop. It then went back and found my prior runs, so it’s trying to base my training off my marathon training. I’m hoping it will settle down when it realizes that’s not my current volume.
      Just proves.. we bloggers are the best!

  7. Laurie

    I got Runcoach training when I registered for Marine Corps Marathon and I really liked it. I wound up saving all the workouts in a folder on my computer. I look at them from time to time when I need inspiration. I have never met any blogger friends in real life, but I would love to. Hope we run into each other one of these days, Cari!

    1. Cari

      Cherry Blossom had a different plan last time, I still have those. Runcoach I think is now all app based, but I’ll definitely save the emails as I did my marathon ones.
      Let me know if you do a NYC race, and I’ll let you know if I’m ever your way.

  8. Coco

    Hah! I love that we both mentioned the guac! It was great seeing you — I agree, “meeting” doesn’t seem like the right word. 😉 Sorry your hips were bugging you today. Those hip circles sound like something I posted last week in my dynamic warm-up post — based on my own PT.

    1. Cari

      Ooh I need to go find your post. I’m still digging out.
      Hips luckily better today. Blaming, as we definitely discussed, too much sitting.
      Their guacamole is the best. There are times that is dinner.

  9. kookyrunner

    So glad that you were able to meet up with Coco!

    I totally relate to what you said about anxiety. I’m an introvert by nature so I also tend to do better in smaller group settings, but going to things like happy hour events or mixers with tons of people is still pretty daunting for me. Over the past year I’ve tried to do things like that more often to break out of my shell.

    1. cari Post author

      I can do better with gallery openings and similar as there’s something else to do so it doesn’t seem like I’m just bailing on a conversation. I didn’t like mixers in college and some things haven’t changed.

  10. runswithpugs

    I have terrible social anxiety. Theoretically, I love meeting blogger friends, but I am always so afraid that I’m going to be terribly awful and awkward. Ugh.

    I love the idea of Mardi Gras! Mr PugRunner has been in charge of menu planning, grocery shopping and cooking, so he didn’t hook us up with any king cake or jambalaya for tomorrow. Oh, well.

    1. cari Post author

      Yes. and Yes. All the time.
      I never really got into Mardi Gras, but going to New Orleans last year piqued my interest. And then I’m reading Dan Baum’s Nine Lives, which is an amazing look at the city/parades.
      Wish I could email you some jambalaya – hope it’s in your future.

  11. Renée

    I always feel quite nervous meeting new people. I get overwhelmed pretty easily. I remember I went to do the RnR Half in Chicago several years ago and there was a meet up at the Protein Bar really close to Millennium Park. I really wanted to go, but I got there, walked in, knew absolutely not one single face and walked out. I just felt like a huge dork. So yeah. So much for the meet up.

    I often feel like people have an impression of me that I’m extroverted and the life of the party. I’m so not! I have to force myself at times to get out there. I’m glad I do, but I’m so glad that when I do meet people they usually “get me” and I feel like I can be myself 🙂

    In some places in the Netherlands they celebrate carnival, which is basically Mardi Gras. I do NOT get it at all. I have colleagues who take the entire week off to go to all the festivities (and drink A LOT).

  12. Marcia

    Social anxiety? You?? I did not sense that at all. It was SO much fun hanging with you in Bermuda and JFK. 😀
    I love the idea of a Mardi Gras party. I actually was in NOLA for Mardi Gras as a teenager. I’m not one for the crazy but Cafe du Monde and Brennan’s sure were good!

  13. Lisa @ TechChick Adventures

    Being a coach for our local running shop has forced me to get out of my shell. I’m not the chattiest and I’m trying really hard to strike up conversations on our runs. It’s sure not a natural thing for me!

  14. Zenaida Arroyo

    I am an introvert. Well, like a social introvert. I also get nervous meeting new people. I like hanging out with people but try to avoid meeting large groups. I don’t do well in them. This weekend i will be rooming with a girl that I have never met. Haha! What does that really say about me?

  15. Darlene

    I much prefer small groups. Glad to have you and Marcia to hang with.

    All running bloggers I have met are awesome. Hope to meet more.

    It’s weird when we do meet, it’s like we’ve known each other for ages.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *