Solo or Group Running

So you at times love being around some good friends for the chit chat and camaraderie. But during your runs, you prefer to be alone as running is time away from folks after the constant necessity in our personal lives or work lives to be social. And there will be no snot rockets or your back to nature habits with a group or a friend or two tagging along. You got kids and work hard and have some good friends but it is time to get out there away from it all. So for that one hour a day or however long you float along in the great outdoors, you now have time to think and reflect and burp and whatever else you do out there which is social taboo during that joyful time alone. And the reflecting and the creative process can mostly only be achieved solo.

But wait, it is so much fun to be with a friend who keeps the same pace and you can talk to while doing a scenic run together and at the same time have a running soul mate. Or preparing for a race, a mate or two that can push each other for the needed preparation.

Ah and the group runs of multiple runners all going out to share the fun together. And after the social run, sharing a meal together as there is a common bond in this youthful activity to talk runner talk.

Personally, running is a sport that makes us different animals because we do not need anyone and no equipment is needed, except at most a pair of shoes. So the enjoyment of being that loner is how many of us describe ourselves. So when it is 10 degrees with a substantial wind chill index and other folks are heading for the indoors for their workouts, us running are loving the solitude out there which is a defining personally trait in many of us.

Then there is the tag along of a runner you see out there, who we run along with for half the run and then go back to the wonderful reflective moments alone. For many who are out there more for the fitness equation, it makes sense to hang with a partner or two.

In conclusion, find your niche as running is a great way to meet folks and even make new friends. I believe the true runner, because of personality traits, will mostly be solo runners with the occasional group run. But as stated through our discussion, running is very personalized so enjoy them any which way it comes.


Running Shoes and the Appeal of Barefoot Running

I wear size 13’s in an Asian country where 10’s are usually the largest size. So I wore my size 13 Saucony down to the last fiber of rubber and darn wore them out. I loved these shoes and dreaded wearing new ones to break in, but knew I could hurt myself if didn’t wear shoes.

So I got the top of the line Nike Air Max Trail Wind 4, the elite of the cushy, comfy, shoes delivered via a friend fresh from the states. I loved them even if my toes did not feel the street like my old babies did. I kept telling myself how much I loved them every day until one day I said, no I do not love them. Wanting to feel my toes gripping the street was my immediate emotion.

So I put on my old shoes and have been wearing these old lovers every day since. I know that any day the soles will have holes, and then what? I was thinking on purchasing one of the barefoot running shoes and ask myself, are these for me? I fear them as a 57 year old runner and the Nike and Adidas and Saucony days in my youth which is so pertinent in my past. Also shoes have gotten better and better throughout the years.
So the question is to get lighter shoes, my Nike’s as a compromise, or take the barefoot plunge. Please send your experiences. Ah the evolution of our favorite hobby.


Running and Life’s Aggressions

I know a guy who I frequently have coffee with who is a 74 years old fellow and a total intellectual. He is a retired UN employee with some unfortunate past history. He hid as a child in Belgium from the Nazi’s. His family was dirt poor but he was a shining example of the Jewish culture, using education as a weapon after the war. So he did well and all was bright. But life is a state of mind and after a horrible marriage with a lying criminal wife who escaped to another country to avoid criminal prosecution and financial misgivings, this gentleman battled his past and considered himself a manic depressive.

This gentleman found a way to survive his financial woes with a small government check and a family member’s kind help. His health was above average and was still a handsome man who had no problem dating from time to time, getting into some romance once in a while.

But he was an aggressive man who could not get past his past misfortunes and his only balancing act was his very brisk daily walks. Sometimes he would walk twice a day to balance his extreme aggression and let his past be forgotten temporarily by the feeling of calm that this walks provided.

However, he had knee pains and one day had to stop his daily walks. Swimming was his only outlet but not as a regular drill due to logistics. So he gained weight and became very temperamental in less than a month after his knee problem.

So he lost his ability to stay calm. He almost came to blows with yours truly over nonsense and foolishness that i would have nothing of, except the obvious of possible self defense. I probably would not have fought back if not attacked as this is sheer immaturity. But it happened as this raging senior hit a security guard and now faces a court date unless it can be settled privately.

What is the point of all this? Well this is a running lifestyle site. We runners take our aggression out on the track and the road as well as on trails, and we gain prospective from our hobby and our sanity medicine from our chosen sport. Runners win their battles during their daily runs or in races. What we win is our health, our calm and our sanity in this crazy world.

So do not forget, even if we have injuries, we are runners and must maintain being one if we can. Get on that exercise bike or swim in the pool and whatever does not aggravate that injury to maintain some form of fitness that helps get rid of life’s aggressions. And being disciplined athletes, of course never let life’s mental challenges get the best of us. Now go out and kick some road ass!