I drink alone, all by myself. (song reference here) Heed that is. Yes. Most of my training is done alone. The quandary I face is that I love to run with people. Sadly my schedule does not always lend itself to other running buddy's needs and wants. So, I creatively and consciously try to carve out possible running routes and plans that others can enjoy along with me at least once a week. Sometimes I gear them up ahead of time to let them know what the plan is and sometimes I just pray that they will be amendable when I show my face. Gulp.
The chances of me finding a running partner these days are slim. There aren't many people who will allow themselves to fall into the mold that I have cast most mornings. Most running buds either want to run with no plan or they themselves already have a hard core plan that I would not fit into. Interestingly enough the latter is becoming more and more common. Usually only one or two of my buddies will engage me on a run when their time allows. I'm forever grateful and thrilled when I am blessed with their company and try diligently to make the experience as fun as possible. If that is at all possible.
All of the other days I am with me, myself, and I. At first this was a major challenge for me. Coming from a running background I ran with clubs and running buddies 100% of the time. It's just so fun. The only off chance you would find me running by myself would be on vacation. Even THEN I vowed I would find a friend to drag along on vacations one of these days so we could run together. This has actually come to pass over the last two years. My good friends Mel and Dan now vacation with us yearly and we get to run our little hearts out. We've even incorporated the "Beach Sprint" to spice things up. We make quite fools of ourselves in front of the other sun worshipers.
This year is so different. After many lonesome training sessions I have experienced a shift in my need to be side by side with co-runner. I now have an appreciation of training alone. I've always appreciated MY time alone but it took me a long time to appreciate TRAINING alone. I longed to have that camaraderie e that comes from working hard side by side and talking about it afterwards over coffee. I missed that terribly.
But alas, that was not to be most of the time over the past year. And, somehow, I have survived and emerged as a vain triathlete with a new appreciation for training alone. I no longer dread the oneness. Now I look forward to my long swims alone. Long bike rides alone. Long runs alone. It's quite nice actually.
I still run with my buddies as stated above at least once per week when they let me. I still love them dearly. But it's not a chore to have to run alone anymore. I have embraced the lonesomeness of being a triathlete. It's just there all the time and over time you learn to adjust. You grow up. In my heart of hearts I always new I would eventually grow up but it was painful and I wasn't quite sure how long it would take for me to adjust. It took a whole year.
One of my goals this spring and summer is to get one of my buddies to come biking with me. Whether they will come with me remains to be seen. But the reason I want to drag them out there is not because I want a training partner but to really show them how great triathlon is. I really want to help them get into the sport. I want to be there for them to help ease the transition. I know firsthand how hard it is to enter into this sport.
So, one of these days you might see me alone (drinking) or you might see me with a partner (drinking). Either way I know I will be having fun and hopefully they will be having fun to!