Yesterday’s workout was supposed to be the Day #9 workout from Fitmixer Bootcamp. But I woke up at 5:00 a.m. with sinus congestion, an itchy throat and watering eyes, so I opted to go back to bed with the intention of completing the workout in the afternoon.
After work, I cam home, threw on my workout clothes and prepared to get busy. But just as I was about to start, the girls from my running group called and asked if I wanted to join them on a 2 mile run. The weather outside my window was dreary, rain clouds loomed in the sky, and the threat of rain seemed high – but I found myself saying yes. 10 minutes later, we had gathered and were off. And as we fell into our familiar cadence, I felt the tension of the workday slipping away and I remembered why I love running with a group:
1. The group helping me decompress from work. – I work in the corporate sector, which means, some work days are HIGHLY stressful. And while solo runs can reduce my stress level, for me running with a group – who allows me to vent about my day – leaves me feeling even more calm and centered.
2. The group pushes me to try harder and push my personal boundaries – When I trained for my first 5K, my hubby and I were both training – but often ran separately due to work schedules. I often found myself half-heartedly completing the last few minutes of a training run because my mind had convinced my body that I had no more energy to give. When I run with my group, and I feel my mind began to tell my body to slow down, someone inevitably yells “Don’t look pretty”. That’s our inside joke – that if we look pretty at the end of a run then we didn’t push ourselves. When I hear those words, I find myself digging deep and finishing the last portion of the run strong.
3. The group helps me recognize when I need to slow down or rest – Earlier this year, while training for our local 5K, I began to experience some weird “twinges” in my knee. I ignored them and kept running. Thankfully, one of the other group members noticed that my gait seemed off and asked me about it. I told her about the twinges, and she practically ordered me to slow down. The group then scheduled a few extra rests day into the training plan – which helped my knee recover and likely prevented a more serious injury. I know that if I had been running solo I would have attempted to tough it out and wound up sidelined for a while.
4. The group has given me incredible friendships – Our group started as a diverse group of women whose one link was wanting to run. Nearly two years later, these gals are some of my best friends. They have supported me thru family members deaths, illness, career changes, and a host of other life experiences. They are the ones who will randomly text me to make sure my day is going well. I love them and my life is enriched because of them.
So that’s why I love running with a group – what about you? Do you prefer group runs or solo runs?