Alone or Together?

I don’t mind being alone.  As a child I preferred it.

I’m doing a half marathon relay on Sunday. Monday I walked and ran the route. It’s a great course (a lovely mix of quiet residential streets, horse farms and and it even cuts through a state park). I did it on a beautiful day, and about halfway through, I started to wonder which I’ll have enjoyed more, my training session which I did alone, or the race, which I’ll do with a crowd.

The friend that I’m doing the relay with (she does the first lap, I do the second) is the opposite. She prefers to be with a crowd (hence, her doing the first lap). Not only is she faster than me, but she’s competitive. She actually cares what everyone else is doing. Me? Not so much. She takes group spinning classes, I get annoyed if I’m not the only person in the gym.

During my training session I slowed down a lot….to admire red-winged blackbirds, a groundhog joyously rolling around in the grass, and the fox who was kind enough to provide a jolt of adrenaline when he scared the crap out of me by jumping out of the woods less than twenty feet ahead of me.  Since I was alone, I  stopped to inhale the scent of blooming trees and snag honeysuckle blossoms off the vine. I’m guessing I won’t be doing any of those things on Sunday.

Which isn’t to say that I’ll have a bad time on Sunday. It’ll be a different experience than I’ve had before. There’s a sense of camraderie and energy that can be found at the start of a race that can’t be replicated during my solitary treks. The course will be marked (please, please let all the markers stay in place until I’ve finished…I don’t want to do another chipped event where I wander off course) and with any luck, they’ll have a lane of a certain section of road closed and I’ll get to climb the wicked hill on a paved surface instead of the ankle-rolling gravel and sediment, I’ve always had to use in the interest of not getting run over.

So what about you? Are you a loner? Or do you thrive on companionship? What do you like to do alone and what do you prefer to do with others?

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12 thoughts on “Alone or Together?

  1. Put me in the loner category. I enjoy solitude and a walk by myself is practically a spiritual experience.

  2. I’m pretty much a loner, but I can handle crowds when I have to. (And if I’m focused on something other than the mass of bodies around me, I can actually enjoy them from time to time.)

  3. Liz Fichera says:

    I’m with you. I prefer to do most things alone, especially running. When I hike in the desert, though, I always go with a partner. I’ve been chased by javalinas, leaped over snakes, and watched coyotes. It’s a blast. 🙂

    Good luck with your marathon!

    P.S. How is it that I didn’t know you had a personal blog until today??

  4. It really depends on the day. Most days, these days, I’m on my own, which is great for writing because I can’t focus if there’s any noise around me. But I’m a social person at heart and I enjoy spending time with friends. They lift me up and give me perspective. So, I’d say both!

  5. Joann says:

    I’ve always been a loner, through and through. Unfortunately hubby is the same way, so we end up enjoying the company of our cats a lot more than friends or family. Your route sounds gorgeous and what a wonderful adventure! Go you!

  6. RunnerGirl says:

    Not a competitor at all ( just against myself) …I thrive at watching people complete though. I am a mix between loner/company. I run too and somedays the solitude is humbling, I am in my own world, with myself, nature , my IPOD (sometimes -since on beautiful days i do IPOD – less) . When I do run/walk with people I like it to be a PERSON. We can just chit chat and get each other through a tough run, what I like even better is running with someone and no talking, just knowing they are with you, silently willing each other on. They say if you can be with someone and NOT have to talk that is a comfortable relationship —I love that. Some of my friends do not stop talking – and even though I am known to be a talker —-not quite sure where I fit in!! I think I talk at the right times – I talk to my dogs ( they are GREAT listeners, espeically my little long haired chiawawa -( he doesnt even BARK). He is the quietest dog ever, and just wants to cuddle!

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