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January 19, 2010

Dimensions of Compatibility

If I may ask a personal question … have you found your perfect partner in life? Someone who completes you - the yin to your yang, the cheese to your macaroni – and makes you whole? Or are you still seeking that special someone to share your future with?

In either case, last week’s Monterey Herald column is for you. Maybe you’re currently involved with someone, but still holding out hope that a Prince (or Princess) Charming will come and sweep you off your feet. Maybe you think you’re happy, but you wouldn’t know any better because you’ve never tried anybody else, and you don’t really know what the criteria would be for making a long-term commitment anyway. Maybe you don’t even know what you’re looking for to begin with.

However, before you get the wrong idea about all this: yes, we’re talking about running ... because anything else would be WAY too complicated.


Running Life 01/14/10 “Dimensions of Compatibility”

Don’t laugh when we say this, but picking a running partner is nearly as important to your overall wellbeing as picking a spouse. (Well, maybe you can laugh a little bit.) Accordingly, we’ve developed a runner’s “eHarmony” test to rate your potential running mates.

For the sake of brevity, we’ll assume that you can handle the logistics of meeting times and locations. The rest of the profile gets more subjective, and that’s where the rating system comes into play. So get out your scorecard, and let’s get started!

Timeliness: Is your partner always a few minutes early for the meeting time? Score 10. Always on time, score 5. Always late, score 0. Unpredictable -sometimes early, sometimes late - minus 5.

Pace: The best partners help you become a better runner. If your partner’s comfortable pace is slightly faster than yours, score 10. Same pace, score 5. Slightly slower, score 0. Significantly slower, minus 5.

Versatility: Give your partner 5 points for each type of running terrain they enjoy: Roads. Trails. Track. Adjacent treadmills. 20 possible points.

Attitude: If your partner has a positive and enthusiastic demeanor, score 10. If it seems like he (or she) is just logging the mileage, score 5. If he frequently talks about his injuries, score 0. If he’s a constant whiner, complainer, and a downer, minus 5.

Reliability: Will your partner show up when the weather is nasty? For a partner who’s never intimidated by foul weather, score 10. For someone who takes on anything short of a hail storm or typhoon, score 5. For one who says he’ll show up only if it’s not raining, score 0. If he bails whenever there’s a 30% chance of rain, minus 5.

Low maintenance: If your partner knows all the roads and trails in the area, and always comes prepared with the right gear, score 10. If he knows where to show up to meet the group every morning, score 5. If he always asks for toilet paper or a sip of your Gatorade, score 0. If he calls you late every evening to ask you what’s going on tomorrow – minus 5.

Sense of Humor: If your partner brings new jokes and laughs at yours, score 10. If he tells the same funny jokes a lot, score 5. If he tells jokes that aren’t funny, score 0. If he tells the same unfunny jokes a lot, minus 5.

Worldly: Does he or she watch the news and know about current events? Score 10. If he likes to discuss other topics besides running, score 5. If ALL he talks about is running, score 0. If he’s overbearingly political, religious, or dogmatic, minus 5.

Running Life Fans: If they mention a Running Life column during a run, score 10. If they know we write a running column, score 5. If they’ve never heard of us, score 0. If they’ve written a nasty letter to the editor about us, minus 5.

OK, maybe that last category was self serving … but it’s time for the results! Check your compatibility score and place it in one of the following groups:

80 to 100: As good as it gets. Let’s grow old together.
65 to 79: I’m mostly happy, but it feels like I’m settling.
50 to 64: This is OK for now, but I’d still like to see other people.
40 to 49: We need to talk. This isn’t working out.
Under 40: Have a nice life. Maybe you should get a dog.

Best wishes to everyone in seeking the ideal running partner.


Postscript: the day after this article ran in the paper, I met my two primary running partners for an early morning trail run. One of them arrived 5 minutes late, the other forgot his headlamp, and my own headlamp battery died halfway through the run. I guess that means we deserve each other.


感冒 1/20/10, 12:07 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
jeff 1/20/10, 7:05 AM  

repete got an 85! w00t!

Anne 1/20/10, 7:47 AM  

Now I see why I keep getting divorce. I'm a runner who loves too much.

Notleh,  1/20/10, 9:46 AM  

I started to use this scale to rate my wife and quickly decided that was a bad idea.

Stacy 1/20/10, 11:13 AM  

Bwahaha. Awesome. Favs: "the cheese to your macaroni" and "I guess that means we deserve each other."

I would probably weight general attitude -- pro and con -- even more heavily. I'll forgive a LOT if someone is simply "an upper."

Scott Dunlap 1/20/10, 1:17 PM  

How about:

Signs you up for races without telling you (10 points), says they will do a race if you do (5 points), might show up to watch you in a race (0 points), or reminds you daily how unprepared you are for your big race (-5 points).


olga 1/20/10, 1:18 PM  

I used to have 2 partners (running) back in OR who scored perfect 100. Oh, how I miss them...and yes, it feels as I will never be able to have same "marriage" again. We did plan to grow old together:)

Juls 1/21/10, 6:43 AM  

My running partner, when he is available, scores at the top of your list. Unfortunately, we meet for holiday (monday off) running.

Also, I like your test but could you add a category for is single and available and gives you high marks as well. Hee Hee!

Rainmaker 1/21/10, 8:00 PM  

Hmm...80, not too bad. She lost all her points on the time part, kinda had to actually get back to 0 first....

Darrell 1/24/10, 1:06 PM  

Based on the score I gave myself, I'm starting to wonder why my running partner sticks around, oops!

Anonymous,  1/31/10, 2:21 PM  

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