Usually when I train for half marathons or races, I like to do most of it alone. I like the predictability of the terrain, the ability to scrap a run and cross train if I feel like it, go at select paces or cut a run short if I am not into it.
To be honest, I like to be accountable to one person: myself.
Recently I haven’t been running, so attempting to run with others takes a whole new challenge: Will I be able to keep up?
By taking July off, I lost much of my running fitness. I am not stupid. It will take a while to get it back. The other day I was really happy with how I ran. A few miles were at 7:30 pace. I was sore, but felt like I achieved something. It’s not that I wasn’t happy with slow miles. I have learned to appreciate what my body can do at whatever fitness I am at.
But 7:30s were the cherry on top of a run. 7:30 pace was my “regular” pace when I was training for my half. It wasn’t speed work or tempos, it just was what it was.
This morning I was invited to run with a group of ladies who I know are fast. They usually invite me, but I obviously haven’t been in a while because well, if you’re not running, going to a running group is silly. Well, I decided to get out there this morning and challenge myself.
I am really happy I went! They run at 6:30AM which was nice to beat the heat. I had to run to where they meet which was all uphill 😦 but it was a nice warm up. We did 8 miles together between 7:30 and 8:00 pace. Considering it was pretty hilly (where isn’t it hilly in Ithaca?!) I felt pretty good.
We had some great conversations both about running, injuries and about life. Sometimes when I run, I only think about running. I forget that it’s ok to marry a couple activities, like conversation, with exercise. I got to talk back! I love listening to podcasts because it’s like having a conversation with someone…however I do not talk back. Sometimes I go through the whole day without talking to anyone but my cats. Starting the day with a mind full of interesting thoughts made the run go by at a good pace. I didn’t want it to stop too quickly, the workout was great and I felt good.
My legs feel tired and sore as they should right now, but I am recovered in the mind. Some runs leave me mentally drained as well as physically. That makes for a long day. Running with friends is actually mentally refreshing and I feel more recovered physically even if that sounds bogus.
I think I’ll have to keep this group thing up 🙂
Group or solo runs?
Check out my last post! I’d still love to hear your thoughts!