Thursday, July 25, 2013

Want to go running sometime? Uh ... actually no.

Yep... it happened again today... a friend that is also a runner said to me... "We should go running sometime."  Almost immediately I had a lump in my throat and I was doing everything I could do to be polite and just nod... and say... "Yes... maybe sometime."

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?


  1. I am solo runner, other than the occasional run with my dad. I am slow, and I always feel like I inconvenience others when I run with them.


  2. I'm with you I like to run alone! Dh and I are doing Wine and Dine in November but his goal is to make it to AK before he gets swept and see it at night (he's had about 4 knee surgeries)and then I will run ahead!

  3. Where are you in Washington State? I'm in Spokane!! It's always fun to meet other RunDisney fanatics :)

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Shoot - I live an hour north of Seattle... in between Seattle and Bellingham (Stanwood). I would say if we lived closer we should go running together but that would stress me out... ha ha! Nice to meet you!

  4. YES! Finally! You just validated me as a human being. I really don't like running with others. AT.ALL. My 17 year old son runs with me and when we are outside I stress the WHOLE time. It's like I cannot get it out of my head, I'm worried about my pace and whether I'm going too fast and he'll get tired to quickly. I don't mind running with him side-by-side on the treadmill though, that's no big deal b/c we can adjust our paces and not worry about it...I still stress if he finishes before me and I want to go further. I am a solitary runner, I just like to let everything go and I just cannot do that when I'm with someone else. Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone! :)

  5. Just the title of this cracked me up! I'm VERY selective about taking on a running partner. I don't mind occasionally, and I find it does help me when I'm in a slump, but don't think I could do it week after week. Like you, I've got 3 kids and I look forward to just being in my own head - without everyone else joining me!

  6. I like starting off a run or race with a friend or two for the company during the warmup, but once I start running I like to run alone for a lot of the same reasons you mention. Zoning out is one of my favorite running perks, when you suddenly glance at your garmin and you realize you can't remember the last mile or so because you were lost in vague thought. That never happens to me if I'm running with someone else.

  7. This is my first time stopping by your blog so I just wanted to say hi! Also, I have learned to LOVE my solo runs! I'm training for the WDW Marathon with a friend and we'll be running on our own during the week and doing our long runs together, a perfect combo!

    Karen @karenlovestorun

  8. I usually do training runs with a partner ( for safety purposes), but most of the time we both have our headphones in and run at our own pace anyway ( unless we are really needing to discuss something along the way!) When it comes to races, we usually run solo at our own pace, except Disney races, (They are special) and we usually stay together during those!


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