There are many great reasons to run with others; safety in the dark or in the hills, camaraderie, and most importantly, when you commit to meet someone, you will be less likely to skip your workout. Running with a group or a friend will help you push to run a bit faster and it makes the time and miles go by quickly. Running with others is great!
I, however, run alone. Funnily enough, I’ve come full circle on this. When I first started running I ran alone on my treadmill watching Oprah in the guest room (which then turned into the baby’s room). When I started with Team In Training I did some track workouts and ran with the group on Saturdays. I ran with TNT for a few more seasons and found some great gals to run with. After our marathons were over we kept running together 2-3 times a week without fail. That lasted quite a few years until the group splintered as people moved, had babies and our lives went in different directions. I’m still friends with most of the gals and we run every now and then but not on a regular basis. The only exception is my friend Lisa who still trains for and runs marathons with me.
I’ve tried other running groups but to be honest they have not been a good fit. I don’t like running at night and a 9:00am run on a weekend does not work with my or my kids’ sports schedule. Thankfully I am extremely disciplined (OK – anal-retentive) when it comes to exercise. I’m self-motivated and can propel myself out the door 99% of the time.
While I run alone, it’s not lonely. I see a lot of solo runners out there and we give a familiar nod to each other. A few friends from the other side of the hill run a few mornings a week and we say Hi and wave as we pass by each other going in the opposite direction. I run past a group of ladies who walk their dogs over the hill for coffee every morning and I see a couple in their 60’s who also walk over the hill every day of the week. I’ve gotten used to seeing some of the same cars driving past me as they are on their way to work and will get a honk of recognition from folks I know from the neighborhood.
I toy with the idea of finding some running buddies but I like to run early (5:30 or 6:00am), I love to run hills (I will even go out of my way to hit a good one), I like to chat when I run (this can be a definite turn off to some people) and frankly, I enjoy being on my own schedule. If I decide to run at 6:30am instead of 6:00am then I don’t want to feel guilty about messing up someone else’s day.
I would, however, love to find a trail buddy for weekend runs because I don’t do trails alone. So if you are an early bird who loves to run hills but isn’t concerned about getting up them super fast, I’m your gal. Also, I like to chat so be warned!
Now go run!