One of the best parts of being an only child is that I learned to LOVE my alone time and doing things by myself. I do love being around people and doing things with my friends, don’t get me wrong. But I love quietly curling up with a book, not having to fight over what to watch on TV, not having to share my bowl of popcorn (which I am capable of doing, thank you very much), being able to coordinate family trips easily, and largely being an independent person.
This has definitely translated into my workouts. Take yoga for example. I prefer taking class over a home practice. I like the inspiration and motivation I get from being surrounded by other yogis in a class, but you’re still on your own with your practice on your mat.
For the longest time I only ever ran alone. Some of that was from being intimidated about running with others. What if they were faster than me? What if I needed to stop and walk?
Some of that was liking the “me” time. I didn’t have to talk to someone else. I could be quiet and listen to music and let my mind wander. I didn’t have to debate on routes, coordinate meet ups, discuss distances. I could run how and where I wanted to.
I still love to run by myself. I find it is truly a moving mediation.
I now also LOVE to run with my run buddies! While training for my second half marathon in college I started doing some of my training runs with race friends. In Colorado, Misty got me into trail running. I’d go out a lot by myself but would also run with her at least once a week. Now in Portland, I run with Jamie and Nicci a ton throughout the week when we can coordinate our schedules and our Flex & Flow run club every Saturday!
There are two big reasons I love running with buddies.
One: It’s so FUN! Miles fly by as we chat it up on the trails. Laughing about farting makes the uphill sections way more manageable. (Runners talk about farting and pooping a lot.) We usually have dogs with us, and it’s always such a joy watching them race around us in the woods.
I love when it’s just two or three of us, and our big run club groups! It’s always fun to start and end together as a big group, and usually we’ll naturally split up some as the run progresses. Big sweaty group coffee dates Saturday mornings after getting our miles in is one of my favorite parts of the week.
Two: It’s so INSPIRATIONAL! It’s such a great way to get inspired and motivated. I wouldn’t be trail running without Misty. Her personal goal and encouragement of me got me out on the trails and running! Jamie always challenges me when we run together. Her pace, her distance, her mountain goat legs racing her up the hill. Whenever I think I can’t go any more, I see her up ahead of me (if I can still see her) and I did deep to try and catch up. Same goes with all of our run club runners. I like to think that we constantly push and support each other, to run faster and farther while also taking care of yourself along the way.
I also prefer exploring new trails with someone else. Trail systems can be complicated and woods can often be deserted. I’d hate to get lost out running by myself or injured badly and stuck somewhere alone. Some of my favorite trails to run on in Portland I’ve discovered through Jamie.
Never have I felt so empowered (and sweaty) as I do with my run tribe. Join in with us; have fun and get EMPOWERED with us in August! We’re offering a special discount this week for the EMOWER Race Series in the Bay Area! Use the discount code SWEAT to get 40% off!