running with friends

A few weeks ago, I had planned to write a post about how I run alone. How I’m a lone wolf, how I thrive in solitude.

And, as a confession, how I am really embarrassed to run with others because I’m afraid I might hold them back and slow them down.

However, there is a chance – a teensy, tiny, small chance – that I was wrong.

Running solo has been fine. I’ve never really been bored, nor do I get tired of it. It’s just my normal and it’s been working fine.

However, on Wednesday, I ran home from little man’s school with a mom who lives in the neighborhood, and on Saturday, I joined up with the awesome couple from JennErikHams, along with their friend, and ran the Color Me Rad 5K with them.

Not only did I have a blast, but I feel like I ran faster, better and more efficiently.

I can’t figure how that happened. I never really felt like I was winded or cramping, but my pace was definitely quicker. I was much more relaxed, which I’m sure helped my form. And, I was able to carry on a conversation without gasping for air. This is something I never dreamed would be possible.

On Monday morning, when I went out for my run, I tried to keep in mind the way I felt when I was running with friends, and it did wonders for my overall time. Again, my pace was faster, and I generally felt better about the run when I was done.

Interesting. And unexpected.

It would be nice to have a buddy with whom to run on race days. And it would definitely be nice to have a training buddy. I guess I shouldn’t be embarrassed by my speed or my performance – I’m doing well, all things considered, and I’m certainly not the only one out there at my pace point. I think I need to look at some of the local group runs to see if I can work something out. I am pretty intimidated by the whole thing, but I think I really have to take myself out of my comfort zone if I want to keep improving.

And I do want to keep improving. I really, really do.

In the meantime, I hope I can hold on to the progress I have made over my past few training periods. It’s definitely a huge motivator and I feel like I am heading in the right direction.

Are you a lone wolf or part of a buddy system?

Do you find yourself running better and smarter when you are around others?


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25 Responses to running with friends

  1. Darlene says:

    Yes, lone wolf for the same reasons as you. Yes, I run better around others which is why I run better in races.
    Darlene recently posted…Mohawk-Hudson Half Marathon Race ReportMy Profile

  2. I’m also a lone wolf! Of course I’m not huge in to running yet, but when I do and my fiance wants to come with I tell him no way, I’ll just get mad at him and slow him down, which in turn will ruin my run as well. It’s ok though I think we have a system figured out. 🙂 I did a 5k last year where we ran together and I did set a record… Maybe I should reconsider…
    Samantha @ 10,000 Squats recently posted…Week 11: Princess Fairytale Dream Come TrueMy Profile

  3. Until I found Karen, I hated running with other people for the same reason. I’m not fast, and rather than admitting how slow I am, I’d just always have a reason not to run with other people. But with Karen, long runs become good catch up conversations, and races become a way to push each other.

    I do like knowing that I can run on my one, I can race on my own, but it’s also nice to know I’ve got a good partner in crime 🙂
    Cyanne (RunStretchGo) recently posted…Race Review: LBI 18 MilerMy Profile

  4. Lone wolf here. I have run with people before and they have to majorly slow down to run with me so I get embarrassed and then I feel bad for holding them back. So, I go it all alone.
    Amanda @ There Are 2 Sides recently posted…Paleo vs. Clean EatingMy Profile

  5. I thought I ran better on my own too, until I tried running with friends. Now, I’m hooked. It’s mostly mental for me — I had to finish the last 2 miles of a 12 miler on my own last weekend and the last two miles were awful. The first 10 flew by at an easy pace, full of conversation and laughs, then blah blah blah.
    Kristin @ A Mom on the Run recently posted…I Don’t Want to Run a MarathonMy Profile

  6. Awesome!!! I am definitely a lone wolf, but I have run with other people before and it was definitely fun! I’d like to find some more runners around my pace/maybe a little faster to help me pick it up!!
    Rachel @ Undercover Diva: A Sitcom recently posted…Wedding WeekendMy Profile

  7. Meg says:

    I trained for my half marathon with a buddy and it was so much easier than being alone. I’ll be kicking up running again soon. This time my buddy will be C in the stroller. Maybe that will feel the same 🙂
    Meg recently posted…Win A Free Entry into Any Hot Chocolate 5k or 15K Race!My Profile

  8. I use the buddy system! I meet the girls for a morning run tuesday thursday- If i ever cant make the morning I try to run at lunch and I tend to be MUCH faster alone! Kind of the opposite of you 🙂 I think I push myself a lot more when I run alone and i tend to run with people who have a slightly slower pace- oh and morning running is slower for me too!

  9. DragonLady says:

    Oddly enough, while I am a loner (or try to be) for most things, running isn’t one of them. Even though I am usually running alone because I have on pace and it’s slow, I still do better knowing I have a friend up ahead of me cheering me on.
    DragonLady recently posted…“You got big dreams?”My Profile

  10. I love this post! When I moved to a new city, I sought out a running group so I could run in the mornings before work while being safe. I was worried by the times they said they ran.
    I showed up anyways, and it was THE BEST DECISION I COULD HAVE EVER MADE!
    Not only did I make friends I never would have made otherwise (even if they were significantly older than me) I learned that contrary to me beliefs, I LOVE to run with others, and that I am not as slow as I thought I was.
    Turns out I was just underestimating myself…. life lesson learned 🙂
    Anne @ recently posted…Three Days- Thirty MilesMy Profile

  11. Matilda says:

    When I started running, I had no choice, it was running alone.
    Then I found a running club and every Saturday (during season) we would run. Sometimes we all started off together, most times handicap (staggered starts).
    I found that my running improved when I ran with others. I was able to push myself. It made me realise exactly what I was capable of.
    sometimes you don’t know how far you can go until you have someone else pushing you that little bit more.
    I still run on my own now, until I enter a race, nothing like a race with others to push you further.
    Matilda recently posted…Training for Nothing PlanMy Profile

  12. Suegene says:

    I am a slow-poke – but I have found several groups that have runners of all speeds – while I believe it is very important to be able to run by yourself, I have my groups to be greatly motivating. They keep me out there, I have met great friends, and I have learned that I can do far more than I think I can!

  13. Diana says:

    Everytime I read one of your posts, I think we’re sharing a brain. LOL I was/am hesitant to run with people for the same reasons you stated – but the few times I’ve run with people, I’ve really enjoyed it, and running has seemed easier somehow. Maybe because by talking to someone, I’m distracting myself from all the normal negative thoughts that might creep up during a run? I don’t know. I do still like to run by myself, but I’m pretty sure that if I could find a regular running partner, I’d do that in a heartbeat. =)
    Diana recently posted…New Trails and TreatsMy Profile

  14. I love running with friends, but I find that I chat a lot and don’t focus on my splits as much. I’m very competitive with myself and when I run alone I am focused on my time and push myself more. With that being said, I’m a social butterfly and would rather have fun with my friends than worry about my time! 🙂
    Debbie @ DebRuns recently posted…New York City Marathon Race RecapMy Profile

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