Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Lone Ranger Run

By: Jennifer

Going out of town does not give a runner, especially a runner in training, a free pass to skip out on hitting the road. As hard as it can be sometimes to get out there on a normal day, the thought of a long run alone on vacation can be even more daunting. Thankfully during my recent trip over Fall break to Panama City, it was pirate weekend. Why am I thankful for pirate weekend you may ask? Well, pirates run half marathons apparently. I gladly got to run alongside several pirates in a local half marathon which added some costume and company to an out of town training run that I was going to go at alone. It is so easy to meet great and powerful women when you're looking for company in a race. Whenever you travel, it can be very beneficial to look up local running routes, races or group runs to keep you going. Oftentimes Google is all you need to get connected. 

Also, I got to revisit the beautiful 30A running route. And again, I didn't have to go it alone as expected. My ever-patient mother rode her bike cheerfully alongside me for 8 miles, making for good company and good conversation. She occasionally put on her trainer face and would "crack the whip" while yelling motivational phrases that weren't the least bit threatening. We both discovered this idyllic route last year from searching for places nearby to run and bike.

Tan, sand, family, and running. My only complaint would be that it all happens too infrequently.

It's amazing to see how relaxation and a lot of laughter can actually heal your body physically. Somehow in the midst of stressing out about runs, where I am in my training, and my race countdown, I forgot to enjoy running. I forgot that I get to do it. Whether it's alone, with strangers, whether you're "lost", or exploring, remind yourself of why you run. Pay attention to your own breathing and take a look around. Even running can be relaxing at times.

Back at the grind this morning, I very much value the quiet, solo runs in the morning when I get to watch the world wake up, as I am reminded of my own breathing and my own own footsteps. I am alive, and I get to run today, with company or without.

Do you ever enjoy running alone, or do you need company and conversation to make the miles go by faster?

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