Group or Solo Runs?

So, do you like to run with a group or is solo running more your thing?
When I started running back in 2013, I ran solo all the time. I enjoyed the solitude, it allowed me to think, clear my mind, and I also used it as a time to listen to music, podcasts, and audiobooks. But as time progressed, it became harder and harder to get motivated to go out for those long runs alone.
After running my first half marathon in the fall of 2015, I decided to join a group to train for a half marathon in the spring of 2016. For 16 weeks, I ran two nights a week and long runs on Saturday with my training group. I really enjoyed running with the group, there was such camaraderie, support, accountability and it was just fun. I found that I couldn’t wait to get together with my group to do my runs.
Flash forward two years, and four training groups later and I wouldn’t do it any other way. I’ve developed friendships that will last a lifetime. Even after the training programs are over, I still get together with some of the different groups and enjoy a nice long run on Saturday mornings.
A few weeks ago on a Saturday morning I went to Fallen Timbers, one of our normal meeting places for our group runs, as I wanted to get in a 6 to 8 mile long run. As usual there were 20 to 30 runners milling around getting ready for their run. I pretty much knew all of them as I had run with most of them from time to time, but today I had planned to run a pretty fast pace and I found out that the faster group had already left.
So I decided I would just head out by myself and run our usual course, which takes us over to Sidecut Metropark, down by the bridge, around by the river, back up Monument Hill and then back to Fallen Timbers. I turned my music on and did a short warm-up and set out for my long run. Alone!
I was enjoying the solitude, listening to my music, which isn’t something I usually do running in a group. I was lost in thought about how my week had went and what the upcoming week would bring, when I started to pass runners coming in the opposite direction, most of them I knew.  I’d wave and say “good morning“.  I passed a few slower runners and gave them encouragement for being out there at 7:00 am on a Saturday morning.  I had a good friend who’s training for an IronMan Triathlon, pass me on his bike, I waved and yelled “good job Ryan“.
After each of theses encounters, I found myself reflecting on the times I’d run with each of them, the things we’d laughed about, the times we’d struggled and needed the other person to get us through the dark point in that run and it quickly became apparent to me that even running solo, after running with a group for so long, you’re never really alone, and that put a smile on my face!
Until next time … Happy Running!

Rich,  

Do you run with a group?
If so, do you experience the same thing?
Love to hear from you.

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