A few weeks ago at the last minute I decided to go to the USQ Tuesday social run. It was a gorgeous day, and someone had chalked the route (someone from the store goes out and draws chalk arrows around the city for us to follow!) I love that, because then I don’t feel like I need to stay with the group because I don’t know where I’m going (my navigational and directional skills are poor at best). I was wearing my Nike’s, not my running sneakers. But it ended up being one of those runs where I was close to tears at how amazing it felt. I. was. flying. I wish I had had a watch because I reallllllly want to know what my pace was. I’ve never felt so fast in my entire life. It was nuts. I finished so far ahead of everyone else that I felt kind of bad. I was totally in the zone, didn’t want to talk to anyone, just wanted to sprint and sprint far and fast, and I did. And it was amazing. The other night I ditched the group too because I was in a bad mood and needed to run it out on my own. It’s crazy how much like therapy it can be for me.
It got me thinking about my running preferences and how much they can change on any given day. Most days, I love running with other people. I love the camaraderie and I love the conversations that take your mind off of whatever happened that day (or the fact that you’re sucking wind up a hill).
But some days, I need to just run alone and mull things over in my head without anyone else around. Just me and my sneakers.
And then there are the days that I NEED to run with someone. Usually, these are my long runs or early morning runs. I will admit, sometimes I dread a run. There, I said it. I don’t like admitting that. I like to think that running is my happy place, and training for this marathon is going to be sunshine and rainbows because I love running, right? Yeah, well. Sometimes I don’t feel like waking up at 5:15 to run 12 miles before work. Why do it then? Because without fail, if I do it, I feel better afterwards. I need to accept the fact that training is going to feel like work at times. Hard work. But I’ve read enough marathon recaps to know that if I can successfully cross that finish line after 26.2 miles, all of those miles thinking, “This sucks I want to stop” will be distant memories.
I also know that I’m going to have plenty of runs where I need that friend to be waiting for me at 5:30 so that I don’t shut off my alarm and go back to sleep. And I’m going to need that friend who says, “Just 3 5Ks left and we’re done!” And I’m going to need that friend who says, “Pick it up Wolman, I know you can do better.” And I’m also going to need that friend who says, “Don’t be stupid, you’re going to hurt yourself.”
Another big thing I’ve noticed about my running preferences recently is that I haven’t worn headphones in ages! I’m either with people talking or running alone and thinking- and both of those things require no music! I still like to have music during a race in case I need it for that extra added “umph” but for the most part, I think I’m a music-free runner now.
And those are my runner-ramblings for now.