Awhile back I discussed how running had been turning me into a lone wolf. While the long and lonely runs will always have their place in my training schedule for reasons I listed in that post, lately I've adjusted my routine and found my motivation coming from others a bit more. A friend noticed a few Salemites finishing times were really close to mine in the last race I did, the Condor 25k, and suggested I train with them. A few mouse clicks and a quick blog message later and I am making plans to join them for their Monday track stuff. I enjoyed the company of much more experienced runners and the workout so much I joined them for 12 road miles the following morning. That's saying a lot about how much I enjoyed my fellow runners' company: I might have gotten out the door at 5 a.m. before but never to run 12 miles of dreaded pavement.
I've also done a few runs with some great new people from the Run Wild clan. We did a couple of loops at Silver Falls (that together complete the upcoming marathon course) and I had a lot of fun out on the trails with some pretty fast guys. Good stuff.
Running with others has advantages: it can be motivating (especially when they are fast and experienced) and there is also an element of accountability that kind of goes with group stuff. I have been pretty accountable to myself and my goals all year but I could feel it waning a bit after being laid up with knee issues. There is also conversation that can be enlightening but is often quite entertaining if not anything else. Today it was noted that we (mostly them, as I mainly sit back and listen) have solved the world's problems on the morning runs: only one problem, everyone else is still asleep and not listening to our solutions.
Speaking of the knee... I am reluctant to say it's cured but I've been doing a different series of cheesy exercise and stretching vids I found on Hulu of all places and I've had no trouble. One is called 7 Minutes to Save Your Knees, another is a short abs workout and the last is a AM/PM Fitness Stretch vid complete with a lady in a one peice leotard suit. They might be cheesy but seriously, just like that my knee trouble is, dare I say, gone after what has been now months.