I grew up playing mostly team sports. I understand and appreciate being a team player. You are a spoke in the wheel, a cog in the thingie. A whole that is greater than its parts. To pile on the analogies.
As a runner there’s no team, it is a solitary endeavor. But I’ll tell you, it’s a lot easier and more fun if you find yourself some people.
When I started running with Team in Training 16 years ago I trained alone and was not really interested in changing it. I was a new runner. A slow runner. And as such preferred to run and suffer solo. But I joined a group run on a Wednesday evening and then came back the next and soon I was not only running with my group three times a week I was starting to organize the runs. When the season ended I kept organizing and kept running.
Running with a group kind of forces you to connect with people (if you run 10 miles with someone, you cannot just talk about the weather or your pace for that long). And it made those long miles more fun, or manageable. Plus it taps into the team dogma that you also may have learned as a child, you show up because others are expecting and relying on you to be there.
Fast forward a decade and a half and I’m still running with friends. Still forming group runs for an ever-changing squad. People come in and out depending on what they are training for and for what’s going on in their life. Schedules are dicey with kids and family take priority but knowing you’ll have one or more people to meet at 5:30 am for a run is a great motivator and pushes you to do a 6 miler when you would have just gone 4 on your own.
So if you don’t have a tribe, get one. Reach out to friends, family, office mates. See which of your friends on FB, Instagram or hell, even Tinder (swipe right to run?) want to go a few miles. And remember, if someone says they want to “watch Netflix and chill” it’s not what you think. Ha ha. Sorry, too much coffee.
Only a running friend can drive you out of your cozy house on a chilly (freezing) dark morning or a post-work track session. Find them. Find the miles.
Now go run!