Monday, May 6, 2019

I'm a Group Runner and Proud of It!

A friend and business associate of mine shared a "Runner's World" article today that was written by a woman who preferred running solo. The subtitle read, "Listening to your inner introvert can make you a better, stronger, happier runner." My friend was in total agreement with this runner. I, however, disagreed . . . stronglyI know it may be hard to believe :sarcasm: but I am an enormous introvert. I would even go as far as to confess that I struggle with social anxiety. Oddly enough, the only time I feel most at ease is during a run. 

Starting off my 40th Birthday with a run 
Running distracts me from the fact that I'm actually around and talking to other people. It seems to be the only thing that helps me overcome the crippling anxiety of leaving the house, driving and being around people. There are days where even going to a "restaurant" without a drive-thru is out of the question when I'm by myself. The thought of having to get out of the car and talk to people is too much to handle, even if it means being "rewarded" with a meal. Yet, I will drive all over town at odd hours of the day just to go for a run with, and sometimes without, my best running friends.

Post-race picture with :gasp: strangers
On the rare instances that I find myself running "alone," -- I usually am pushing a stroller, so I am hardly ever truly alone -- I am on high alert. I am constantly preparing myself mentally for someone or something to jump out of the bushes, or a car to lose control, jump the curb and wipe me out. It may sound like a strange notion, however, where I run on early Tuesday and Thursday mornings, we have encountered streetlights and bumpers laying across the sidewalk on at least two separate occasions. Also, the bike lane sign has been mowed down by cars a few times now, and one morning, we witnessed a driver headed southbound in the northbound lane. So, you see, my hyper-vigilance is not entirely irrational.

Am I the only socially awkward/anxious person who finds solace in running with friends? Which do you prefer: solo or group running?