This is me in this photo...running a 10K near our home in Washington State.
I have been running consistently for over a year now and I have learned some things abut myself in my short time as a "real" runner. I like to run alone. Actually I LOVE to run alone. I have a busy family with 3 young kids. My running time (even if it is on my treadmill with my headphones on) is my escape... my "ME" time. I know that running can be a very social activity. I am addicted to formalized races and the atmosphere that surrounds them. Running groups and organized runs are just about everywhere you look. One of my sisters who has been a runner for most of her adult life almost always runs with at least one friend. I have not found this to be helpful for me. Actually it stresses me out. I don't enjoy it. I tend to be worrying all the time about my pace being too slow for the other runner or maybe I am too fast (probably not the case). What if they don't like the route I chose ... what if I want to walk and they think I am a wussy... what if they want to walk and I don't... oh it just stresses me out!
This is not me in the photo... hard to take a photo of yourself if you usually run alone.
I LOVE doing organized races but I LOVE to do them alone. Now... if you have done any organized races you would probably tell me that you are not alone when you participate in those. Actually you are... I don't feel like I have to talk to anyone I know and my only pace setter... is me. I have done 2 races in my running career with other people. I ran a 10K last October with one of my sisters. We had never run or trained together ahead of time. She does not run with walk/run intervals like I do. She agreed she would stick with me and do the intervals with me for this one run. It was fine... the race went well... she ran ahead at times and then finished about 5 minutes ahead of me. All good.
My husband ran with me at the Neverland 5K at Disneyland . It was fun... again we had never really run together before. (He doesn't really run at all) We learned pretty quickly that our strides are MILES apart. I could not keep up with him stride for stride. We figured out a system fairly quickly that worked for this short race. He would run ahead until he needed a walk break where then I would catch up and run with him for just a little bit and then he would run ahead again. We never really lost sight of each other and finished quickly. We were able to get those pictures we wanted together. As for the running part... we ran independently but finished strong together! It was loads of fun! (How can you not have fun at Disneyland?)
Doing the races as a one time thing was okay... but not my favorite.
I read an article recently that totally explained how I feel about solo running. For lack of just retyping what this person said I will post it HERE.
So does this make me an incredibly antisocial person in the running world? (if you ever see me at a race don't talk to me... ha ha) I am actually quite an outgoing person and love talking and lots of friends in other areas of my life.
But for running... I will just say it... I love the "alone time" - me and the open road or me and my treadmill with my earphones in and I can go to that place of being alone (even when all 3 of my kids are in the room).
Do you like to run with others? What is your favorite part about it?
Are you a solo runner like me? What do you love about running alone?