Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Running Style

Yesterday afternoon was another Girls on the Run practice.  The head coach's daughter was not feeling well, so I got the opportunity to lead the practice.  The lesson was all about gratitude and we spent some time discussing and writing what people, things, and circumstances we are thankful for.     
The girls are already great runners.  We are still working on pacing, but they are rocking the workout sessions each week by running several laps every time; I am impressed!  Four laps around the field equals a mile and to keep track the girls collect a silly band for each lap.  Then at the end of each practice we count and mark the number of bands each girls has.  Our head coach came up with a great idea for the girls to keep track and show off how many miles they are running as well.  They get personalized keychains to attach to their backpacks and add a bead for each mile they run.  They always look forward to adding new beads each week!  
For the workout yesterday we tried to focus and run the laps quietly, without talking to anyone, and just let our minds wander to process the day, enjoy the weather, think about what we are thankful for, etc.  Usually during the workout they encourage each other and like to run and talk together, so it was a bit of a challenge.  I am glad they tried to do it though and they certainly learned more about how they like to run - they are social runners for sure!  As we wrapped up the lesson I passed out a cute running journal for each girl to use.  It went perfectly with our lesson of gratitude and taking time for yourself!   

This lesson made me think about my own running style.  I usually enjoy running by myself.  When I first started working out I did it by myself because I was worried that other people might judge my workout style or see that I wasn't really fast or strong.  That seems so silly thinking about it now, because, honestly, who cares what someone else might think about what you are doing, because you are doing it for you and your health!  When I see people working out or running I just think how awesome they are for getting our there and doing it.  
I am not against running with other people though and totally see how having someone with you can push and encourage you to do your best.  Heck, I enjoy races because of the great energy a group of people running brings.  I have also enjoyed group fitness class for the same reasons.  For me, each workout serves a different purpose (besides physical fitness) depending on how I feel that day.  Sometimes it is just time to be alone, a way to de-stress from the day, enjoy a good book, rock out to some awesome music, or just get lost in my own thoughts.  Whatever reason it is, it makes me feel good!  

Do you like to run by yourself or are you more of a social runner?