In seventh-grade, I decided to be an English teacher when I grew up because I thought there would be nothing better than spending my days reading and writing. Never in those thoughts did I think about having summers off with Liam. However, almost thirty years later, I get to earn a living doing something I love and enjoy two months off with Liam. I often explain that I have the best of both worlds.
I feel the same way about running. I have a supportive fun group of people to join on runs but also get the pleasure of going out solo. Once a week, I am able to run the Boulevard before picking Liam up at school.
I love both of these runs for different reasons. When I am with friends, the time flies by! We pick up right where we left off, talking and laughing. I wondered how we were able to connect quickly. A line from Big Little Lies sums up what I am trying to put into words:
“It was interesting how you could say things when you were walking that you might not otherwise have said with the pressure of eye contact across a table.”
I love when a group run can push you to go a little faster than you normally would. I also love when you can pass the time chatting and forget that you are engaging in a challenging physical activity.
My solo runs also hold a special place in my heart. I can zone out and focus on the world around me. I can listen to my embarrassingly pop-filled “Run Run Run” playlist on Spotify. My pace is mine alone. Even though I can go as far as I’d like, my distance tends to be two miles around the neighborhood and exactly 3.1 miles when on the Boulevard. I can focus on my breathing and my form. (My form is causing underpronation. I’m learning about it and trying to correct it myself.) When I started running the Boulevard solo, I noticed a lot of things that had gone previously unnoticed while chatting.
When I first began running on my own, I thought the time would drag. While it doesn’t go by as quickly as it does when I am with a friend, I love having the time with my mind to challenge myself to get better at something that previously seemed impossible.