I’m a solo runner. It’s not so much about the solitude or alone time for me, but rather the freedom: to choose when, where, how fast (or slow), and how far to run. It may take a little more rallying to get out the door on my own, but once I do, I can tune out, crank up my audio book, and try to enjoy myself.
…unless it’s a long run…
Long runs are daunting and mentally exhausting. And long. Especially as a slow runner, they can go on forever and ever. And did I mention that during marathon training, I’ll have to run 20 miles on my own? With no aid stations, cheering bystanders, or porta potties. Assuming that I’ll actually be able to run 20 miles at some point in time, it will take 4-5 hours to do so. That’s a whole lotta solo Marissa time.
Dreading the weekly long runs helped me figure out which training plan will work best for me. I’ve explored hiring a running coach (expensive), following an online plan (easy to skip runs), or joining a running club (ugh, people). I’ve never really been a joiner but coming off the excitement and energy of my last half marathon that I started and finished with the same pace group, suffering through my long runs with other people doesn’t sound so bad.
I found a local running club that holds long runs every Saturday morning with a planned route, aid stations, and lots of runners going lots of different paces, including slowpoke. The official training – which is designed specifically for my race – begins later this summer, but in the meantime, I’m going to join the long runs starting at the end of this month.
So, I am now committed for long runs every Saturday from May to October starting at 6 or 7am. I’m starting to forget why I thought this would be a good idea.
Oh well, at least I’ve got a plan.