Running With Friends

It has been a while since I updated my training journey here.

A couple of weeks ago, I had the honor of running with my dear friend in her 2nd half marathon adventure & in honor of a milestone birthday. We spent the weekend celebrating her, running our way through town for 13.1 miles, then celebrating her more. We were surrounded by friends in the race, on the route, at the finish, and on social media.

As we ran and celebrated, it occurred to me that running with friends is a whole thing. It is a completely different thing than solo training runs. So, for this installment, I will explore the differences: pros and cons, from my perspective.

Running Alone:
I find running to be a form of meditation. It is my time to let my mind wander, to think through all the complicated things in my life, and to let my brain work so hard and so long that it works everything out and can be silent.

I also enjoy the time my long runs give me to catch up on podcasts and music. I get to feel productive and all caught up on pop culture by the end of one of those runs.

When I run on my treadmill at home, I get to watch the news or cheesy television: my choice.

The thing about running alone is, I get to spend all that time with myself, go at my own pace, and settle into whatever mindset works for the day.

Running with Friends:
When running with my friends, there is little time for meditation while running. But there’s plenty of time to work out all your issues: we just do it out loud when we run together. There’s no listening to music or podcasts, no getting lost in your own head, no getting distracted by media of any kind.

Running with my friends is an exercise in breath work, laughter, and catching up on everything we’ve missed since the last time. It is fun; it is satisfying; it is often the best way to make a long run go quickly.

So I sit here and ask myself: What is your favorite way to run? Alone or with friends. Like many things in my life, I don’t want to choose. I like it both ways.

I will say this: just as we choose our clothing for the weather so we stay warm (or cool) and comfortable and safe, we should run with others – or alone – as best fits our needs at the moment. If you need company and the support or input of those dear friends: run with them! If you need time to work out your feelings or make your shopping list or finish Serial: take time alone and run!

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