Thursday, February 4, 2010

Day 35 - Group behavior

Today we had record attendance for a run from to office.

All of us have run together at some point, but this was the first time we'd amassed six of us (Bill, Bob, Mark, Mike, Eric.)

(Wait, that's only 5... oh, and me... 6).

It's interesting to watch the group dynamics on one of these runs. I'm not talking about the incessant insults to one's manhood/womanhood or the inappropriate-in-any-other-setting topics for discussion (like whether or not Eric found his hat in the "family planning" aisle*).

In this case, I'm talking about how the group itself morphs as the run unfolds.

For example, after a mile or so, our group of 6 split into 2 groups of 3. This happened without a word or a nod. The group just organically divided into one group that wanted to go just a bit faster, and a group that wanted to go just a bit slower. The group split perfectly on either side of the average of the 6 different paces that each of us would have run on our own.

Everyone got pretty much the run they were looking for. Everyone had someone to talk with. No one got dropped.

This happens all the time. A runner taking off to prove he's faster than everyone else doesn't happen very  often. And you just don't see a group letting someone fall off the back.

When the group "gets it", there's this unspoken "no runner left behind" code. Despite differing paces, the group takes care of its own.

Oh, and it doesn't stop when the run's over. When one of us noticed the free-lunch feast of extra Qdoba-to-go in the break room, we made sure our fellow runners got to it first.

Good running,

Numbers: 4.3 comfortable miles.

*Eric's hat looked very much like a condom. It's not shown the in picture. He'd already taken it off so that he could more fully enjoy the sensations of the run. Despite Eric's reckless choice, this blog advocates safe running.