Running Solo

6 years ago

It was just last week  temperatures plummeted to below-20 with a wind chill factor of -36. It was on those cold days I would bundle up and run. On most of the runs, I was fairly warm, with the right gear.  I enjoyed the brisk air, the snow-covered trees, and quiet trails.

I loved that there was not a soul in sight. I would just run with my thoughts and focus on my breathing. The problem maybe I enjoyed running solo a little too much.

Grace and I signed on to do the Resolution Run together. She doesn’t love running,  isn’t enjoying the cold weather, and since our last run she has become a bit of a thorn in my side.

We went out for a group run, the temperature plummeted, and it was obvious from her body language that she didn’t want to be there…The moment we embarked on our run, she started to complain, couldn’t breathe,too cold, her glasses were fogging up. I kept trying to be the cheerleader. But it wasn’t working. I could feel her negative energy seeping through her pores, festering all towards me.

I was beginning to get cranky, tired of cheering, being positive, and just wanted to get work out everything in my own head. It was hill training, it was hard, and I needed to focus on myself. The more she complained, the more tired I would become, within in minutes it all went downhill and became a very bad run. She just wasn’t in the right frame of mind and I didn’t have anymore energy to help her change her mind.  I would run ahead and then run back to check on her every few minutes. I was frustrated with her, and frustrated with myself for not being as patient or understanding as I should have been that night.

Needless, to say after we finished that run. She wasn’t happy, started to complain, I turned my ear, and went in a separate direction. The day had already been stressful with compromising with Mr. MBA, negotiating with the kids, and dealing other family issues. I just didn’t need anymore, all I wanted to do by this point was stretch, soak in a hot tub, and go to bed.

It was the  next morning she sent me a very nice email thanking me for cheering her on, checking on her, and she realized  that maybe she shouldn’t have run that night. She also recognized it wasn’t my fault that she was cold,  and her glasses kept fogging up. She also pointed out that all of her anger was festering from past  childhood experiences in phys ed.class, and I had become the target of it. I think this reflection was good. But for me it also made me realize maybe I’m better running on my own. It’s my time and I don’t have to deal with emotions, or other people’s baggage. Is it wrong to think this way?

The weather, has finally warmed, once again, but we decided to take a break from each other for the rest of the week. And maybe next week will be our week? It was our last run together which taught me  that sometimes running with a partner is like a marriage, it takes compromise, patience, and communication. But sometimes I just don’t want to compromise, communicate, or be patient. Sometimes,  I just want to run.

What do you prefer running solo? Or with a partner?

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