When Mike and I started running, we only ran with each other. We completed the entire Couch-to-5K program and Bridge-to-10K program without running with anyone else (with the exception of one time in Atlanta, Georgia when we ran with my mom). While we were training for our first half marathon we ran with my mom and Mike's mom in Maine, but other than that we didn't really run with other people for a long time.
I almost pulled a Mike, but my eyes ARE open!
Part of the reason we didn't run with anyone else is because we didn't know any other runners. Other than our moms, and a few people here and there, we didn't hang out with people who ran regularly.
After I started blogging and we became more active in the local Rochester running scene, we started to make friends through running. Then, we started to run WITH those friends.
Since the middle of February we have gone on quite a few group runs. Most of these runs have just been with another person, or a few other people, but this weekend we participated in two unique group runs.
On Saturday we went to the annual Run Around the Bay (different from the Around the Bay 30K we are running in two weeks) in Irondequoit, New York. About 100 to 200 runners from various running groups (or runners in general like us) in the Rochester area came together to run around Irondequoit Bay.
The route and the elevation, two category 5 hills!
There were a few route options and Mike and I did the 15 mile route. While it was a "group" run, we were primarily running alone since everyone else was really fast! When the 15 mile route connected with the 13 mile route we did see some more runners. It was a fun time anyway!
Then this morning we hit the trails (which is where the majority of our group runs happen) for the 0 SPF Trail Half Marathon preview run. We aren't running this race, it is the weekend after our Half Ironman, but we are volunteering.
Photos courtesy of Eric
Photos courtesy of Eric
About 30-40 people came out to run the first 4 miles and the last 4 miles of the course (it is an out and back). I love running with Trails ROC and other trail runners, but it was tough the day after a 15 miler. If it was just me and Mike, I probably would have given up or turned around. Luckily, the group setting motivated me to finish! And the promise of dirt cake at the end didn't hurt either!
Mike and I have enjoyed adding group runs to our running routine (and I would like to add group rides, soon). It is a nice change of pace (literally and figuratively) from running solo or with just each other.
This Runner's World article describes the benefits of solo running and social running, and also emphasizes that it is good to have a mix of both. We agree!
Do you like social running, solo running or a mix of both?