Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Runs Well With Others

Awhile back, I wrote a post about why I prefer running alone. At that point, I hadn't even tried running with others - I just assumed I wouldn't like it. I told myself it would distract from my training. It would force me to go slower or faster than I might want to run. The truth is, I was also secretly afraid I wouldn't be able to keep up. 

Today, I'm going to have to revise my original stance. While I still love the solitude of having nothing but the road for company, running with someone else is a welcome break from the everyday grind.

I've since done several runs with the Lululemon Run Club. It's a pretty casual group - no need to sign up, and we usually decide how far to run depending on what people are in the mood for. The pace tends to be slow, which is perfect for recovery runs. It also means everyone can chat easily, so you get to know others in the group. I make an effort to go whenever my schedule allows and it's an easy way to get in 9+ miles for the day (I run 3-4 on my own before or after the group run). 

With the girls before a run. Already sweaty and my eyes are closed.

There's something about a first 20-miler that's so intimidating. I was lucky enough to have my friend Chris along for the miles. I thought the run would seem endless, but surprisingly the miles flew by. It was such a positive experience that since then I've actually looked forward to 20-mile runs!

Remember that fear of not being able to keep up? I was forced to confront it head on when I ran with my fast friends, Sheila and Melissa. We ran at a pace I can maintain, but one I need to work at. Still, it was good to get out of my comfort zone, and I know making myself keep up with these girls will help me get faster. 

I'll still run most miles on my own. But every now and then, I'll look to share the road with a friendly face or two. It makes the miles go by faster and reminds me that there are others out there sharing the same journey, one step at a time.

Do you prefer to run alone or with others? Also, have you attended any of the local run meet ups? If so, what did you think?

Let me know if you want to run together :)

- ST


  1. I love to paraphrase Joseph Conrad from The Heart of Darkness and say "I run as I dream - alone." yes, I prefer to run alone, since I want to listen to only my own body and adjust accordingly, but more importantly, it is my time to drop out of the human race for a while, and to really transcend my body and escape for a bit. I want solitude and to go inward.

    That said, I love the communal feel of an actual event. I feel connected to everybody in the chute, and can feel the energy of everybodies various pasts come together. And during the last 6 miles of a marathon, I feel so connected to every runner out on the course.

    So, to train alone, but to race with others to me is a perfect mix.

    1. Well said, Mark - I agree that the communal feeling during a race is great!

  2. I prefer to run alone because it gives me a lot of time to think...however, it does go by much more quickly when I'm with a friend!

    1. I agree - running is a perfect time to think/work through issues. It's also a great time to zone out and think about nothing at all!

  3. Great post. I don't like to talk to people (I'm too out of breath). I wouldn't mind running with someone if I could run with music :)

    1. If you're within your easy pace range you should be able to have a conversation while running :) Next time Karissa, Ly and I do Lululemon Run Club, you'll have to join us!