Since it’s the week before vacation and I’m slacking on running and workouts, I’m linking up with Tuesdays on the Run, hosted by Erika of MCM Mama Runs, April of Run the Great Wide Somewhere and Patty of My No-Guilt Life.
This week’s topic is Running Solo vs. Running with a Group, and this is certainly a timely topic for me, since I just had my first ever group run on Saturday!
I’ve pretty much always been a solo runner. My first forays into running in high school were just to supplement my track training, or for weight loss. I was slow and clumsy and didn’t want anyone to see me, so I ran after dark or early in the morning. As I started running more, I was always worried about pace–either being too slow or too fast for the person I might be running with. And I’m also naturally a bit shy, so I worried about finding stuff to talk about while running with a friend or group. I would hate to feel awkward or weird while trying to do something I enjoy. There also might be just a teeny, tiny bit of control freak inside of me, and not being in charge of my own route/pace/time etc weirds me out.
Thankfully, my first group run really showed me that I don’t need to worry about any of that. There were about 25 runners, ranging in age from early 20’s to 60’s, and with all paces and abilities. There were track stars and run-walkers, multiple marathoners and people who’d never completed a 5k. As we stood around exchanging small talk and waiting to get started, I instantly felt like I belonged–we were talking about the best headbands to keep your hair out of your face, which shoes we like or don’t like, races we’ve run, races we want to run… It was like talking with all of you guys, but IN REAL LIFE!
I was also delighted to find that I knew not one, but two people! One woman works in my building, and the other is a woman I interviewed with several times at a local company before I got hired at my current job. Her name is Michelina (Mich, for short), and when I met her at my interviews, I thought she was super cool. I’m so excited to actually hang out and get to know her. We ended up running the entire route together, with a guy named Judd, who as it turns out, is my neighbor!
We settled into a comfortable pace and just chatted away. Judd and Mich are both easy talkers, so I didn’t feel pressured to come up with things to say, and I never felt awkward. The miles FLEW by, and I completed my fastest non-race 5k in weeks. It was also really nice to run somewhere new. I run the same route pretty much every day, and while it’s scenic enough in its own right, it’s easy to get bored with the same view. On Saturday, we were out on the Ti-Haul trail, which is GORGEOUS–well-maintained packed gravel, plenty of shade, and not too hilly. I’m going to have to drag myself over there to run more often!
I’m so, so glad I’m getting to experience group running. I’ll still be doing most of my runs solo, but twice a week I’ll have the opportunity for fun conversations, new routes, and challenging workouts.
Do you have a tough time making conversation with new people?
If you run with a group, what’s your favorite part about it?