Running deepend the potential of any friendship. To run and talk with other people is a form of cherishing them. When otherwise, is there time to offer a true and thoughtful answer to the bedrock question upon which all intimacy is found: "How are you?" If you've got three or four or 15 miles with which to answer, chances are you're going say something genuine along the way.
In turn, running makes us keener listeners, if only because we are not checking our e-mail or doing dishes at the same time. I can tell you about my firends- about what's important to them, what's driving them crazy, which body parts ache and what makes their spirt soar-because I've covered a lot of literal ground with them. We are propelled not so much by our legs but by the force of our chatter.
Every so often I enjoy a solitary run and the internal dialogue that comes with it. I think through my problems, talk myself into logging an extra mile, or just revel at the way the clouds hang in the sky. More often than not, though I'm not alone. Under those same lovely clouds, I'll turn to my running partners and say, "would you look at that?" But even the most spectacular sight- the glowing mountains, or the beautiful view of the valley- won't stop our talking for more than a few seconds. We've got way too much momentum going for that.