I usually run alone, even when I'm running with a group. It's because no one runs the same pace that I run plus I'm not a very chatty runner. Trying to breathe is enough of a challenge for me.
So I usually run alone.
I'm quite ok with that. I like being alone in my head - my mind wanders, I solve problems I didn't even know I had and I get a little better at negotiating with my inner non-runner who'd rather be home on the couch.
On Boxing Day, a gaggle of runners drove to Hamilton to run the Boxing Day 10 miler. From the first step until we crossed the finish line, I ran with my friends John and Michelle. They ran a pace that was just far enough outside my comfort zone that I spent the better part of the race trying to come up with a polite way of telling them to just leave me alone so that I could collapse in a heap. I never did find the words and, as a result, I crossed the finish line in a time that I will forever have trouble beating. It felt amazing. I was so proud and so grateful to have been carried along. It taught me the power of running with other people.
Tonight I headed out for a run in the snow. Doug headed out at the same time. That rarely happens. We were going the same way and running the same distance. That also rarely happens. I figured we'd run together across the bridge and then I'd watch him disappear as I found my comfortable pace and he found his.
Tonight we ran together. I decided that I would use the opportunity to push myself like I did on Boxing Day. I'd run a pace that was not comfortable, but not deadly either, and see what I could do. If that was fast enough for Doug, fabulous. If not, he was always welcome to pull ahead and head off on his own.
I pushed. He stayed. We didn't talk much. I was completely exhausted when we got home. He gave me a high five.
It was a great run.