I am a solitary runner. I love the energy of running a race and can appreciate why others like to run in groups. But on my training runs, I want to run alone. Here’s why:
My running time is my time. It’s time when I don’t have to worry about anyone else. I don’t have to be polite when I don’t want to. I don’t have to nod and smile as I listen to another person’s story.
I can just throw on my shorts and sports bra and hit the road. I don’t have to schedule an appointment and drive somewhere. I can run right out of my front door.
There’s no one there to remind me that my shirt stinks if I happen to wear the same one I did yesterday because I didn’t have time to do my laundry.
I can run as quickly or as slowly as I want. When I’m tired and run a 13-minute mile, there’s no one to make me go faster. And when I feel the need for speed, I don’t have to worry about leaving anyone behind. My runs are based on the needs of my body, not on the needs of a group.
There’s no one there to laugh at me when I wear a hydration belt for a three-mile jaunt.
There’s no one there to interrupt my inner dialogue. When I run, I focus on my problems and my desires. I think more clearly when I run, and I don’t want to cloud that clarity with conversation.
I don’t want another appointment to keep. I can run at 4 a.m. or 9 p.m. and change the time if something comes up. As long as I get my run in, it doesn’t matter.
I don’t need companionship to make my runs enjoyable. If we love running, why do we need to distract ourselves from it? Why do we need company to make our running enjoyable? Running itself should be enjoyable, or why do it?!
I can feel the mind-body connection when I run. I feel what’s going on with my feet, my legs, my arms, and my back, and I pay attention to how what I’m thinking affects how I’m running. I would miss that experience if another person were around.
I love to observe the world around me. I hear the birds, the toads, and the crickets singing in the swamp that I run by. I feel the breeze through my hair. I watch the stars and the sunrise and the clouds roll in and out. I feel the rain on my skin. I am a part of my world, and this feeling is one of the main reasons I love to run.
When I run, I am reminded that I am alive. I’m able to reconnect with myself and my world. I won’t give up that feeling for anyone or anything. Instead, you’re welcome to join me for the post-run glass of wine.
Do you like to run alone? [Amber Hadigan]