I was in my running mindset when I got home from work. My routine of walking through the door, changing into my workout gear, getting Harper’s collar on, and heading out the door was on my mind and I was ready to go!
Once I got in the door, though, I was not greeted with a normal smiling face and wagging tail. Travis had already got home and was taking Harper on a walk. Since I was out a running buddy I decided to head out alone. It would be nice and I wouldn’t have to worry about stopping for potty breaks, occasional smelling, or having to tug her back when someone else with a dog was near.
I didn’t bother to take my iPod and decided it would be a completely solo run. A run that I could just go at my own pace for as long or short as I wanted. No goals or expectations, just a nice run with no distractions.
I started off very slow and thought it would likely be a short run, but the further I got the faster I started going. I didn’t have anything on my mind and before I knew it I was on mile 2 and didn’t even remember getting there. It’s like I had been in such a daze that I totally spaced and ran in a blackout or something. Luckily I was on the sidewalk:)
Once I was out of the fog and started hitting some hills my dazed and confused mindset was no longer and my body started to fatigue. I could have really used my music around the end of the second mile because the pitiful foods of peanut butter wrap and pumpkin bread that I had eaten all day were long gone and I was past the empty mark.
Usually during this part of the run Harper’s non stop energy revs me up and my second wind kicks in, but on my solo run I was on my own and super tired. I could feel my legs start to get heavy towards the last half mile and my shoulders felt hunched. Almost as if the bottom part of my body was trying to slow down but my top was still ready to keep moving. I was almost done with my run and in need of either music or a fuzzy friend. I don’t normally listen to music when Harper is with my anyway so I can be aware of my surroundings, but not having her made it more difficult to concentrate.
As I rounded the final corner to head home I started chanting to myself, “I want to run, I need to run, I HAVE to run.” Once I kept on with that mantra I could really feel myself getting stronger and faster. I was still really tired, but since I didn’t have music or my regular running buddy to keep me going I had to focus on my breathing and not let myself be defeated. I only had half a mile left by this point and couldn’t let myself walk or I’d have even longer before I got home.
Once I finally got home I thought about how I should do more solo runs to help clear my mind and help be more aware of my body as I’m running. So much of the time I am distracted by music or trying to make sure Harper isn’t getting into trouble(we run in an area where she doesn’t need the leash most of the time and is constantly doing her own thing) and forget to pay attention to my posture, my breathing, or my knee that tend to give me trouble.
It was great to clear my head and just listen to everything around me. Solo runs aren’t something I’ll do too often, but it’s an option that I’ll surely keep in mind when I want to clear my mind and need more exercise than yoga.
Are you a solo running type or do you need music/companion?