When I first began running, in the late ‘80s, I ran with our English Spring Spaniel, Penny. Eventually, after several years, The Captain started joining me occasionally on Saturday mornings.
When I first began running I borrowed a book produced by The Running Room for their new runners from a girlfriend of mine in who lived in a different city. She mailed it to me and I do recall making a running date with her for several weeks down the line when we knew we would be getting together. But by the time we saw each other again, she had given up running.
Eventually we got a different pooch, another Springer Spaniel, Scout, who ran with me faithfully, too.
I honestly don’t have any friends that run. They bike. They play tennis. They golf. They sail. They walk. But pretty much everyone I know thinks I am crazy because I
From time to time I think about joining a running group. On Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings I see a large mixed group running past our apartment. They seem to be in groups of 2s and 3s and they chatter away and look like they are having fun… and I think perhaps I might like to try it too... but then I realize I am not ready to commit to showing up at a particular time every week, and would flake if it was raining or too windy. And I am always afraid of being too slow and not fitting in anyway. I think joining with a friend would be better… but if I had a running friend, I wouldn’t need the group!
When I committed to training for a half marathon a couple of years ago, The Captain decided he would do it too and he started running with me quite regularly. Since then, I bet I can count the number of solo runs I have done on two hands. Even though I dictate the distance and the route, he is normally agreeable to lacing up his running shoes and going along… or if he has something else to do, I will make a compromise on the schedule and find a time he can go along with me.
But not today.
We originally thought we would spend the morning on the golf course today… but The Captain has had a cold brewing over the past few days and this morning woke up with quite a cough. I think he is better off resting than walking the golf course, so I decided I would head out for a short run before breakfast… alone. Kind of exciting, actually. Lame, I know.
But after all of the sad events I have been reading about lately concerning runners and walkers being injured, or attacked, I made sure to take some time with my preparation.
I put my cell phone into the hidden pocket of my new Fit Plus Sound Solutions running capris, and I did tell The Captain what my intended route was and when to expect me home… and off I went. It was quite a different, and very enjoyable run, because I was alone.
I ran on the bark trail around the perimeter of the park and really enjoyed it. When I run with The Captain we run on the sidewalk across the street from the park because he doesn’t like the bark. And, because there was no one to talk to, I listened to the screeching of the peacocks wandering in the park, and the honking of the Canada Geese flying overhead, and the heron chicks calling to their mamas from their nests high in the oak trees. I ran faster when I felt like it, and slower when I didn’t.
When I arrived home, I went through my normal routine of water and stretching, and then we made breakfast and some plans for the rest of the day before I showered.
Now, don’t get me wrong… I love running with The Captain. I love that he is willing to go just about whenever I want and wherever I want. But every once in a while,I do think it is good to go alone.
When you run alone you can work on your pace or tempo. You can take walk breaks when you want. You can sing out loud! You can change the route or go longer, or cut the run short. You can stop and take pictures or pet dogs you meet along the way. You can be totally alone with your thoughts.
I would love to know what you think about running solo, or with one other person, or with a group.
Do you take any safety precautions when you run solo, such as:
- taking your cell phone along
- telling someone where you are going
- altering or planning a particular route
- taking water or food along
- wearing your Road ID