When I began running, it was all about me. I didn’t want anyone else running with me. Sometimes on the treadmill was ok because I could go at my own speed. I wasn’t responsible for anyone else’s workout.
Now, I hate running by myself. I’ve been walking on the treadmill to keep moving and often clear my head before teaching a class. Running has become social.
I love it in the summer when I run and walk with friends at the track. Again, it’s like the treadmill. People can go ahead or slow down at their own pace, but we are all there together. Somewhere along the way, running with friends has become a huge highlight of my week!
It’s my “me” time, the equivalent of meeting for coffee. I don’t know when this happened! There are so many strange phrases coming out of my mouth. For example, “it’s only _ miles” or “I wish I brought my running stuff on vacation”. The craziest was this past week.
My running friend and I had scheduled a 5 mile run on Friday afternoon. Her daughter wound up being home with a stomach bug (life of a mom) and she had to cancel. I was genuinely disappointed. I looked at my husband and said I can’t believe how bummed I am about not going for our run.
On my way to teach, I thought of a friend I might be able to talk into joining me. The running gods smiled down, because there she was running on the treadmill when I got to the gym. I mentioned going for a run/walk in her neighborhood AND she said YES!
I was psyched! Of course the weather was cold and wet. It was supposed to clear, but typical New England – it didn’t. I called after my last class to see if she was still game and she was! We ventured out for a 3.25 mile run/walk.
Her long legs made her fast and we only walked for a little over .25 miles. It was great :) We chatted along the way and I found myself explaining that I love getting out and catching up while running.
I can still see the irony as a friend last year told me how great it is to run and talk. I thought she was CRAZY! Who can run AND talk, that’s just insane. Somehow, this has become my reality. I love running with friends. The mileage is secondary to getting out and catching up.
Not to mention, it keeps me accountable. I’m not going to be the one wimping out when the weather isn’t perfect or I don’t feel like it. I have an appointment, somewhere to be and someone counting on me.
I am capable of motivating myself to workout, but why make it less fun? As the winter months approach, I may be stuck back on my own. Right now, I plan on keeping it outside and with friends as long as it’s safe.
There is nothing like the fresh air and quality time with friends.
Do you exercise with friends? What has surprised you about leading a healthy lifestyle? Do you prefer being outside or inside when exercising?