Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Learning to share

I’m used to running alone. I have a pretty crazy work life with an erratic schedule that can’t accommodate joining a running club or team, and I’ve learned to be flexible in order to get in my weekday runs. At any given moment, I’ve got the basics of what I need for a run in my car (or I get creative, if I don’t – I have been known to wrap my feet in ShamWows or facial cleansing cloths when I’m out of socks), and I frequently squeeze in a run wherever I find myself in the county, whenever I have an hour. So that usually means I run alone.

I’m also used to working alone, which may seem a little odd, because I’m a social worker. The nature of my work is to be out and about, meeting and talking with other people all day long. But for years, I was the only one in my company working in my particular role, I had a great deal of autonomy, and although I’ve never technically been alone, in many senses I was on my own. Last year, we hired someone to join me in my efforts, and it took some getting used to. No matter how great she is (and she is great), someone else doing what I do, and being in my space – literally and figuratively – has been an adjustment.

The past year has been all about adjustment for me, and one of the most significant changes has been joining a local coworking community. If you’re not familiar with the concept of coworking, you can learn more here. I joined out of a practical need for productive workspace in a different part of San Diego County – and quickly found myself knee deep in a supportive community of other professional women who share resources, generate ideas together, and inspire each other.

I’m still in the process of dipping my toes into this community (I adjust to change slowly), but yesterday decided to try something new. When I figured out how and when I was going to squeeze in my 6-miler for the day, I sent off a message to some other members who I know are runners, - some of whom I know, and some I hadn’t met yet - to see if anyone was available to join me. Lo and behold, with just a few hours’ notice, what was otherwise going to be a solo late afternoon run through a business park turned into a group of four, two new friends, and a fun punctuation mark at the end of the work day. (And by the way, lots of commuters waiting at bus stops to surprise with a wave or a quick "hi!") I put out an offer to share my afternoon run, instead of keeping it to myself, and there were others ready to receive it. What else have I been missing out on?


  1. Hera Hub sounds like such a great community of women. I love the concept.

    I am also a solo runner, even on those 20 milers. I truly enjoy the solitude but I always wonder what it would be like to have a group of running friends. It's so neat that you found running buddies on such short notice! Do you think you'll continue to reach out to others for group runs?

  2. I think I'll continue to reach out for group runs on occasion, but definitely can't give up the solitude of running altogether. Especially the long ones. No music, no conversation, nothing but footsteps and breath for hours on end. Can't live without those!

  3. And I love the solo runs so that I can decompress to my music and the way I'm running. I do want a running club on some days though, especially during events.

    Glad some at the bus stop waved back!

  4. Hi! I found your blog through Kate's - I'm a fellow San Diego runner! I really prefer group runs because that is how I came to love running (I used the Vavi Running Club for 2 halves and my first full) but I'm growing to appreciate solo runs more now. That is awesome that you were able to do an afternoon meet up run!

  5. We're so lucky to live in a world where we can find community at our fingertips when we want it! And still enjoy solitude when we need that, too.