Yesterday, I met my running partner to run in the morning. I quite like her. We get along well and we seem evenly matched in terms of pace, goals, etc. We met at 7am, our usual time – it's probably important to know, though, that I travel about 25-30 minutes by bus or bike (yesterday bus, due to the cold) to meet her. We hadn’t met up for nearly three weeks prior because she had been on vacation and then I had some stuff going on. It had been a while. When we were both there, she opened with, “I know this is terrible, and I hope you’re not upset, but I’d kind of like a brisk walk today instead of a run. I’m out of shape and feeling it from not having run in a while.” She told me that I could feel free to run if I wanted and she wouldn’t be at all upset.
What should I have done? What would you have done?
I’ll tell you what I did: I walked. I wasn’t under time pressure and I’d come out for the company as much as the exercise. But… I’d come out for the company and the exercise, and I don’t feel that I get as much out of a walk as a run.
I should add that I’m not at all upset with her, and I’m almost glad she didn’t warn me ahead of time (in which case I likely would have begged off, not gone out to meet her and not done any exercising that day).
On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"