I tend to be a soloist when it comes to running. I like to go at my own pace, do my own thing, say my little mantras to myself and enjoy the peace that comes from focusing on nothing but my breathing and my next mile.
When it comes to biking I could go either way. Sometimes it's fun to bike with someone else. You can revel in each other's successes when you make it over hard ledges or drops, stop to catch your breath together while looking down on the Colorado River, and you've always got someone there in the unlikely event (or in my case, the likely event) that you crash. Although, in my defense, that hasn't happened this year. Excuse me while I go find some wood to knock on.
Here's why I bring all this up: At work right now we are currently all battling it out to win this "fitness challenge." We all have groups of 3 and we get points for every time we work out. (1 point per work out). If you work out with one of your team members, you each get 2 points. The whole idea being that, for most people, it is more motivating to work out with someone than alone. For many people, I'm sure this is true. Maybe I'm a sour puss.
Now, I had a great time biking with my friends this weekend in Crested Butte. That was a blast! And I have fun biking with my friends here too. Usually the majority of us can agree on a time and place and, if we can't, well, we just don't bike together. But this fitness challenge thing is throwing a wrench in the works.
Here's what I mean: Yesterday one of my running buddies (I call her that because we sometimes do run together and we are training for the same races and plan to go to them together.) was planning a run with our other friend, E. She says to me (the injured one) "You should come bike while we run so we can get double fitness challenge points." I figure sure, an after work bike ride on a mellow paved trail will be nice...I'll do like a time challenge... "Ok, sure." Then I ask, "What time are you guys going?" "Oh around 7." WHAT????
I mean, I know it's cooler then, but this is the point where I want to say, "Nope, nevermind." I like to work out after work. By 7 p.m. I've washed the dinner dishes, put on my comfy clothes, and am relaxing on the couch. That's NOT when I want to be loading up the bike. But since I'd already agreed to go, I stuck by that. When I got there, one friend had already run a few miles and was just raring to keep going as soon as E showed up. So before I could even get my bike off the roof, they were gone! WHA? Like I didn't expect us to all hang together for very long, but really? So of course I crank the bike up to its highest gear and leave them in the dust...I bike the entire 8 mile loop, the turn back in to find them and end up doing about 2 slower miles trying to half-way talk to them and encourage them as they finish their run. Then we all get in our cars and go home. So...i got in a very light work out at a time when i could have been home and I didn't even get any girl time or friend time or anything? Maybe I'm being petty.
Maybe it's just this particular group of people...even when we try to run together, we aren't running together...my legs are short and I'm slow and so I run by myself and they turn around once in a while to make sure a mountain lion hasn't grabbed me. Hence the reason I prefer to run alone.
Even with biking I have mixed emotions. If you have a good group and everyone gets there on time, then it works great. Mountain bikers spend a lot of time stopping to catch their breath, take pictures, talk...so everyone catches up and chats before moving on.
Still, with running, I often times like my solitude. I like moving at my own pace. I like not looking ahead and thinking, "Man...I wish I could catch up and be part of the conversation." Maybe, like I said earlier, I'm just a sour puss when it comes to group runs! I guess in the end all I'm saying is, "If you want to run together, then let's run together. If you want us to start at the same time and then finish somewhere in the same 15 minute stretch and perhaps see each other in the distance to wave...I'll just go it alone thanks."
So there you have my rant for the week. Swimming and biking this weekend! What do you have planned?