ANOTHER
MOTHER RUNNER

Train Like a Mother: Outtake 4

Even if you're a lone wolf, this group of springy BAMR's makes running with a pack pretty dang appealing.

We're a little over four weeks from the launch of Train Like a Mother: How to Get Across Any Finish Line - and Not Lose Your Family, Job, or Sanity, and Sarah and I are each getting a copy shipped to us any day now. (Our editor says it looks sharp, and even though we haven't seen it yet, we're inclined to agree.) In the meantime, here's the next installment of a sidebar that was sadly left on our laptops' desktops.

Take It from a Mother: Do you run solo/ train with a group, or mixture?

“Always solo. Groups intimidate me, which is silly I know.”
—Tanya (favorite pre-run meal: banana and English muffin with peanut butter)

“I train virtually via long distance with a good friend, but I mostly run alone.”
—Lesley (felt like a “real” runner after she ran the Hood to Coast relay)

“I run by myself. I haven’t found anyone who likes the run/walk method yet.”
—Carolina (after reading Jeff Galloway’s book “Getting Started”, she started to look forward to running, “The interval that works for me is running for two minutes and walking for one.”)

“Mostly solo. I’m too competitive to run with someone else.”
—Bobbi (started enjoying running when she was deployed to Iraq. “Running seemed the best way to save my sanity.”)

On the hunt for a St. Patty's Day Gift? Look no further. (Just let your 3-year-old color the cover green.)

“I love running with a particular partner. We mesh so well in terms of speed and priorities. She is moving away for the summer and I can’t picture a replacement. So I will be flying solo for a while.”
—Joyce  (her first race was a 5K the summer after her daughter was born, “I wanted to make sure I could finish without walking, so I started to train.”)

“Solo. We live out in the sticks and with my work schedule it’s tough to find anyone to run at the same time I’m ready to go.”
– Bethany (logs her miles at Dailymile.com, “I like the community, and how, at the end of the year, it tells me how many donuts I burned off”)

“I run solo. This is a choice that has actually always baffled me, because in all other aspects of my life, I’m an extrovert who thrives on togetherness and collaboration. I think my desire to go it alone on the run came from the fact that when I first started, I absolutely couldn’t multitask breathing and talking, and I felt self-conscious about my pace compared with my running companion’s. I’ve since grown comfy with being out there on my own.”
—Tara (ran the 2010 Philadelphia Half-Marathon nine months after her daughter was born. “I practically yelled ‘I’m back’ as I crossed the finish line, and with a new PR to boot.”)

“I am fortunate that I have two neighbors who have turned into my best friends and running partners.”
—Darcy (loves a four-mile run on the Washington & Old Dominion trail by her house. “It’s shaded, beautiful, wooded, and peaceful.”)

“My dad is my training partner. He is a two (soon to be three) time Ironman and the font of all running knowledge as far as I am concerned. Our twice weekly runs during training not only got my body ready, but changed our relationship.”
—Sarah (her first race was a local 8K Turkey Trot. “It seemed like an attainable goal, a fun no- pressure way to introduce myself to racing.”)

“I have done both, but I have discovered that I run better by myself with a splash of a running buddy every once in a while. I am training for a half-marathon in the fall and my weekly runs will be solo, but long weekend runs with a buddy.”
—Yeiko  (lives in British Columbia. “I love being outside, but the winter definitely restricts how often I can go out so I run at the local hockey rink instead.”)

“I usually run with a large group, but try to keep one day a week for myself where I work on my own pace.”
—Misty (a friend convinced her to sign up for a half-marathon every month this year)

Taking it to you mothers: solo, group, one-on-one? (And that's not meant to be as raunchy as it sounds.)

37 responses to “Train Like a Mother: Outtake 4

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  2. I always run solo. It’s difficult for me to workout a schedule of when to run with someone else, so I train alone either outside or on my treadmill. I do have a great racing partner! We coordinate our calendars at the beginning of the year and are constantly looking for another race/location to add. So far we’re signed up for 3 half marathons for 2012 with a possible 4th one on the horizon.

  3. I would love to run with a buddy but have not found one in my small town. I tend to give up when I’m by myself but in a race can go further by sticking with the pack (or passing walkers).

  4. I run religiously with a group of women on Tuesdays and Thursdays and have been for over a year. Knowing someone is waiting for me makes me get out of bed at 5:30 almost every time. We even brought an extended group together for an out of state half marathon last year. I also run with another group of women on Saturday mornings. Again, accountability is key for me.

  5. I run alone. One of the women commented on how she was concerned about her pace and being able to balance running and talking. That’s me. I’ve run with people before but struggle with pace and chatting. When I’m by myself I can huff and puff all I need to and still be focused. I don’t mind too much. PitBull and Jay-Z make for good company. 🙂

  6. I enjoy all three in their place. Occasionally I love the alone-ness of a solo run something as a mother of 2 I rarely get. Usually I enjoy the girl time that I share with a good running buddy and once in a while I think a group run is invigorating and just plain fun! 🙂

  7. I prefer to run solo … I love that time to be with myself … hopefully, I will be running with my lazy Dante one day … but my doggy doesn’t seem to be on board with me …. 🙂

    I do enjoy when my daughter joins me though it does not happen often …

    But my general preference is to run solo.

  8. I like both, as long as I get in my target miles. I’m lucky to have a lot of flexible running buddies, and a few groups to chose from, so that I can hook up with whoever has a similar goal for the day.
    I do like to do my hillwork alone, though, mainly because I need some really angry, loud music to listen to while cursing my way uphill!

  9. I run to work during the week on my own and once on the weekends for a long run with two friends. I love the mix. I get my me time but also get some quality grown up lady time in.

  10. I run with a group on the weekends (my Saturday long run) but I usually run with one, maybe two, friends during the week. I thrive on the camaraderie of fellow runners for sure.

  11. While I love to run by myself I have struggled in the past to find a running partner. With safety concerns increasing, and motivation waning, I was blessed to find my new BRF Dollie. We run together whenever our schedules allow and constantly motivate each other. It’s wonderful!

  12. Both.

    I enjoy my run-time with my posse. I love the company, the giggling, the inside jokes. And I particularly appreciate them on the track or a tempo run when even if we’re not “together” we’re still pushing each other.

    I also savor my time alone on the roads. I get a lot more than “just a few miles” accomplished when I run alone. I write, I brainstorm, I study, and I mull things over. Come to think of it, I’m really due for some alone-time running next week.

  13. Mostly solo, just because that’s how my schedule works. My dad retired at the end of 2011 so we’ve started weekly run dates which has been a lot of fun for me. I used to run as part of a trio, but one moved 3000 miles away and the other is a new mama (she and her baby girl are locked in negotiations over sleep so I’ll be here when she’s ready to run again).

  14. It really depends on the run. I love to run with another person on my long runs; if I can’t run with another person, I’ll listen to a podcast of This American Life. My 5am runs, however, tend to be solo (for fierce tempo runs) or with my dog. Although he’s becoming such a great running partner that I am taking him more and more. I just wish he would improve his conversation skills, then we’d be set. 😉

  15. I run solo most of the time. Currently my husband is running with me on my long runs – upping my mileage to train for my first marathon. He graciously runs his long run on Saturday – at a much quicker pace – and then runs with me on Sundays. This will last until i get up over 13 mile runs. Then I’m on my own again. Would love to run with a partner but don’t know any one who runs or any running clubs, etc in the area:-(

    1. You can always have him join you for your later mileage when things get tougher. So when you do 18 find the 5 mile point and he can join you from there. Those early miles are always easier to do alone. Happy Running 🙂

  16. I am definitely a social exerciser. Currently, I have 3 running buddies: my BRF, my 11 year old daughter, & my husband. Each buddy brings a different aspect to the run. Running with my BRF provides a free counseling session. Going with my daughter makes me feel like a really cool, personal trainer (which if you could see me, you would find is most definitely not the case). Jetting off with the hubs provides a nice view of his hiney…which is motivating for a multitude of reasons.

  17. I have only been running a VERY short time, but I am running with my 10 year old son, and I love it. I was looking for a way to have time with him, and this is the perfect opportunity.

  18. I never would have started running or been brave enough to try a half marathon without my Sole Sisters – the four of us have put in some solid miles together. However, as time goes on I find most of my runs are solo runs with the occasional one-on-one tossed in with one of the group. It’s hard for four mothers of young children to find the same open window for running!

  19. My BRF and I trained for our half marathon together, though we didn’t always run together. We kept each other up to date on our run mileage and times for our short runs during the week (couldn’t run together because of our work schedules), and we ran together for our long runs on the weekends. We run at different paces, so we stayed together for the first few miles of our race, then met up after for a celebratory beer. We start training for the next half next week, and I expect we’ll be able to run more of the short runs together since we’ll have more daylight after we both get off work.

  20. Right now I train solo. I don’t know anyone else who runs plus I am a slower runner. I decided I need some more motivation so I joined a local women’s training group in the PDX area that will begin in March. I am looking forward to getting to know some people who run.

  21. I ran solo for awhile. Then I had a running partner for training for a half marathon, which was great! Except that she moved away and I’m back to solo. I’d love to find another partner though!

  22. A little bit of all 3. I run solo when Spud is at playschool, with a friend when we’re both able to meet up at the same time and her Ironman schedule allows, and in a group for long runs (I attend a clinic once a week and the long runs are an extension of that). I’ll always race solo though – I don’t want to get caught up in someone else’s plan.

  23. I used to run strictly solo. It was MY time. I needed it.

    But now, I’ve found a lot of joy and friendship in running with others, both in groups and one on one. There are still days when I need MY run, but I really love running in a pack, especially during a long run…

  24. I love something about each of those options. I love to run alone — with music or just thinking or working on speed — plus I love to run with my husband (who I have been running with for almost 19 years), my son(s) in the jogging stroller, my puppy, AND, thanks to some inspiration from this community, some new running friends (one-on-one or in a group) that I met through Daily Mile and also just getting up the nerve to ask some women I know if they want to run. That combo works great for me, as each meets a different need.

  25. I run alone. With two small children. It is the ONLY time I am alone. I also think if I ran with a partner or group I would not have the freedom to stop and enjoy a beautiful field or to speed up to challenge myself up a certain hill. 🙂

  26. During the week, I run at 4:30 a.m. on the treadmill in my garage. However, here lately, I’ve been able to get my weekend long run in with my sister who lives less about a third of a mile from me. I am loving it!

    I also have trained virtually with my BFF Chandra who lives in Montana. I’m in Texas, but it’s nice having someone to check in with each week (or more often…we use DailyMile).

  27. I actually like running on my own. I listen to books so I can’t when I’m running with someone. I do have a gal that I workout with (she walks/I run) at the gym. I thought it was going to be a one-day-a-week thing and I think she wants it to be more. Unfortunately this summer, that’s not going to cut it because I’m outside every chance I get.

  28. Solo, though not really a choice. I live in the sticks as well, and just haven’t found anyone local. I did meet a running friend on Facebook (training for the same marathon) and we met 2x’s to do our long runs, but we live about an hour apart so it doesn’t work all the time ;(

  29. My training partner is my dog. Koty is always up for the next day out. And he’s there for all of us. I can take him running and when I get home he’s excited to go with one of my daughters. He always keeps on pace, unless he sees a deer! Then all bets are off. Thankfully it’s only happened once.

  30. I used to run solo until I started marathon training and got over 10mi runs on my training schedule. Then, I got really bored and lonely. SO – I started a running group and there hasn’t been a dull moment since! These women inspire me and motivate me – gives me a whole new appreciation for running with other women.

  31. I am a pace group leader for a local marathon training group. I love our weekly long runs and cherish the running time with those friends.

    My weekday runs are on my own and I cherish the time alone …. Time on my own to get my head in order.

    I love that I have the opportunity to run both ways. when I started running I was on my own and even trained for my first marathon alone. I would never do that again nor would I recommend it! A mix of group and alone works best for me.

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