Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Running Alone

I am an unapologetic extrovert, and nowhere is it more evident than when I'm running.  What I enjoyed most about cross-country and track practice was the camaraderie with my teammates - I'd spend miles just talking with my friends.  When I was in middle school, this would describe the meets as well as practices; I made friends with all my closest competitors by talking to them every time we'd race.

If you've run with me as an adult (either of you), you know that I'll spend the whole run talking with you.  Yet pretty much 99% of my runs are alone. 

Given the choice, I'd run with someone, and it's one reason I love our Annual Conference at Lakeside, Ohio - because I have multiple pastor friends who also run.  When I got back into running (as a seminarian), part of running was the accountability of having a running partner (thanks, Nate), and it was due to a runner friend's motivation that I ever ran a marathon.

So why is it that 99% of my runs are alone?

Besides the complaint that none of my runner friends live nearby, the bigger reason I run alone is my desire for flexibility.  I like to be able to run whenever I want, wherever I am.  For example: if I know that I am going to visit someone in the hospital in Lancaster, might I also take my running gear with me and jump on the Fairfield Heritage Trail which runs right next to the hospital. Or if I'm up in Newark or Granville (or have reason to go up there), I can jump on the TJ Evans Trail for some mileage.  Those runs will of course depend on when I get there and how long I take visiting.  And I mostly just run from home and like the ability to get up, get dressed, and go run.

How about you, runner friends?  Do you run with a group or partner, or do you run alone?


Nate said...

me being the introvert, of course love my solo runs, but i have to admit that an occasional run with a friend is refreshing. I have you to thank for getting me in to running and I loved our conversations, especially days when it would turn to 80's song lyrics. I wish you lived closer too, maybe my pace would improve.

on another note... i hate running with somebody when it turns competitive or they just run off and leave. if i run with somebody i'm running with them because i want the company. if the person is running for a certain pace, then just let me know. we'll run together on a day when pace doesn't matter.

so... i actually prefer solo running, but am refreshed by the occasional company.

The Thief said...

Running off and leave - like in a 1/2 marathon? sorry about that. Next time we run a half (or full) together, I'm in it for the company.

Greg said...

Like Nate, I'm more of an introvert and, like you Brian, I like the flexibility. However, I am excited to (hopefully) be joining a new company with a colleague who runs very similar times to me in the marathon, so maybe some partner lunch runs are in my future and, if so, I'll look forward to giving it a try.

Big Mama said...

Not to comment on run (cause I can still only run a few short blocks), but to say I LOVE your new blog format: much better for old eyes to read!! Thanks.

Victorian inn bed and breakfast said...

I also prefer to alone run because I don’t like talking during running.
Sometime, my friends meet me during running so when I do otherwise I don’t prefer! Thanks

Best Regards,

Tim Wilson said...

I know this post is a little old now, but just came across your blog today.

I do 99% of my runs alone, but that is mainly because 95% of my runs finish before 6 AM and there are not very many people around that want to get up and run with me.

I prefer to run alone most of the time, but also really enjoy running with someone as long as we are somewhat equal in pace. I really hate it when i feel like I am holding someone back. It also helps if we have something in common other than the running. I have found that not everybody likes to talk running as much as I do.

Chad said...

Running alone is a luxury to me. Its a time of deep prayer, deep worship and deep dreaming.
I do run with others. I have found the companionship to be valuable. I run alone also because of the flexibility too, early morning is my time, it dosnt affect the family at all and I can concentrate on other things in the evening.cowsfin