we live in podunkville, america. this is deliberate, not because we don’t like people or neighborhood-living, but because “out here” we can do so much more when owning more than a postage stamp sized property. we can stretch our limbs (important with three active boys), see thousands more stars on clear nights, and raise animals with many teachable moments along the way.
but that means it’s hard to run out here, safely and smartly. there are no “neighborhood running meets” at dawn, or sidewalks to run on. i usually run in a public gym, or on a track with other neighboring runners/walkers. not to mention (and i know i complain about this a lot!) the hills of western Pennsylvania are many. and steep.
last week, my neighbor (she’s a mile or so away) friend of mine (another homeschooling mom!) suggested that we run together. at first i was going to say “no thanks.” running with others hasn’t been a positive experience for me – mentally or physically. i just decided at my last race that i loved running alone. and i do love running races alone…that probably won’t change. also, i was afraid i would appear rude saying, “please don’t talk with me while we run because i will run out of breath.” but i said yes because i have been really dreading my runs lately and thought the company might help get me excited about it again, and not just “running to run.” not to mention the accountability! she said that the road wasn’t very hilly, and she runs with a 9mm, so i could finally run and not have to worry about how to fend off a bear. or more likely, a rabid raccoon.
our first run was last week. we did 2 miles in just over 18 minutes. that broke my normal pace…we talked the entire two miles, didn’t stop to walk (even on that hill at the 1.6 mile mark)!, and it went so fast. it was a good, challenging run, but more enjoyable than 8 laps around the track or on the busy road that i normally do. i suggested that next week we add a mile to our run. it might be harder to finish strong, but i think the running buddy system can help us achieve any goal that we set for ourselves! by our third run, we shaved nearly a minute off of our time!
i still love to run solo. it’s a good time to get your thoughts in order and listen to some music without interuption. but i think i’ll be saving solo runs for the exception to the rule. the running buddy system works for me, and i can’t wait to see where we’ll be, distance-wise, come turkey trotting time!