Sunday, 4 December 2011

Running solo

I love to run alone. It means I can start whenever I like, stop whenever I like, cry by the roadside, do the runners blow and spit wherever I like. I can be fast if I can, and I can be slow when I can't.

Does it get lonely?

If it did, I'd have grabbed someone to run with, though how that would work out with the stop-start nose blowing above, I'm not sure.

Post-run is when you want company. It could be someone to put a medal round your neck, a stranger at the banana station who also wants to say well done, someone who crossed the finish line with you giving you a hug when all you share is that final timing mat beep.

But when you're not running a race, and especially not a big race, that doesn't happen. For me, that's where the other world takes over and the virtual pom poms kick in! It's amazing how excited you can get over a message icon post-run!

In addition to friends who text, facebook and wassap I am grateful for the company, support and inspiration of the twitter running community. They give advice, they make your jaw drop with their achievements, they coach, they make you laugh, they share, and they cheer. And you get to select them and them you.

Sure you could join a run club, but that's a bit too UK Boarding School Gym Class for me.

Great runners that tweet:
  • mrafletch - the politest nicest man on twitter and boy can he run!
  • canteenrun - my longstanding coach, mentor and piss taker
  • runner786 - just bow, bow now. Ultra runner.
  • conwild -who sent me running through the woods + falling in the bathroom. A barefoot advocate that doesn't sound like an evangelist!
  • romfordrunner - A French marathoner with a great philosophy
  • dimuntiverunr - Gunning for a sub 2.0 half and a great source of cheering.
  • dunsrunner - my source of all things Scottish and smiley
  • mrnimby - fabulously funny, organisers of the Xmas Day virtual run (see we're never alone) and heading towards a target of £50,000 for cancer.
  • hibbsy - so committed to his cause it will bring tears to your eyes. A great fundraiser.
  • nbsue - the runner I most want to have a cup of tea with, Sue radiates warmth from every tweet - how'd you do that?
  • Fattofinishline - Jen makes me smile - she's so real and achieved so much
  • noynek - half marathon training while bringing up kittens!
  • briwifruit - the happiest Canadian runner I've found
  • robsavva - a repeat marathoner running for his son's autism cause.
  • ericdol - my Istanbul virtual run buddy and lightning quick cross country runner.

I'm going to miss lots of people and probably people who have been super lovely to me. Then there are those who don't define themselves as runners but are awesome cheer squads (Dr Simon, Andy H, Tom A, Heloise, Fari) who are always with me in spirit and in humour.

You get the picture - it would be so crowded out there if you actually ran with people!


  1. Thank you for the mention, Rowena! I agree, the Twitter running family is such an amazing source of advice and encouragement.

    Just wanted to say that I appreciate your support and am inspired by the stories you share! :)

  2. I love the virtual world and the support that it can bring!