Run Solo or with a Group?

Running with a group in Chicago was a nice change of pace.

For many people running is a solitary sport.  It always has been for me.  Not because I don’t enjoy running with people, it’s just that i run early in the morning and I don’t have friends nearby that want to run at that time.  There is a group I found online called ROAR (Royal Oak Area Runners) that meets Saturday mornings at 9:00am.  I thought about joining them but they only run 4-8 miles and my Saturday run is usually at least ten miles so I run on my own.

Recently while I was attending a conference in Chicago I noticed the agenda had “6:00AM – Morning Run”.  I had never seen that at a business conference so I thought there would be two or three people down there.  When I got to the lobby the first morning I was very surprised to see about twenty to twenty-five people stretching and ready to run.  The leader said there were two groups, one doing about three miles and one doing about six.  We all headed out together in the dark, (but unusually mild for March), morning.  As we headed from the heart of downtown along the lake up toward the aquarium and planetarium the sky started to lighten.  By the time our group doing the longer run was headed back toward Michigan Avenue and “the bean” the sun had broken the horizon and was glistening off the waters of Lake Michigan.  In addition to enjoying the great sights, I had the chance to meet and talk with several of  the other runners attending the conference.  It was a great way to start the week’s events getting to know a few folks that I would meet later in the speaker sessions and breakout rooms.

The second morning I was sure the running group would be substantially smaller however once again I was surprised but glad to be wrong.  It seemed to be the same group assembled in the lobby of the Sheraton at 6:00am.  And once again the six mile morning run was full of great views and good conversation at a brisk but comfortable pace.   

Those morning group runs really got me thinking about trying to work some group runs into my schedule.  The early morning weekday runs will still be solo but maybe I can occasionally adjust my Saturday morning routine to join a group for at least part of my run.  Mix it up.  Running is supposed to be fun.

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