Why run alone?

When I first started running, which wasn’t that long ago, I had my doubts about running with anyone. Why would anyone want to run with me? Unless they wanted to move in slow motion, it wasn’t going to be any fun for them. With those thoughts and many others, I ran alone. I had sentenced myself to running in solitary confinement and was in need of social interaction.

I joined a local running club, Little Rock Roadrunners. I remember going to my first meeting scared out of my mind. Not to mention I went to the wrong place. After finding the right location, I was hesitant about getting out of the car. I’m glad I did. David Meroney introduced himself to me on that hot, summer day. At the end of the meeting I met Gary Taylor as he talked about a new running store in town.

I can say the rest truly is history. Both of those guys were instrumental in me opening myself up to a world of possibility. David is a friend for life and we’ve had many experiences together.  I checked out the new running store, Go! Running, and I fell in love with it. I eventually went to their group runs and met more inspiring and supportive people.

David and Nicholas - One Hour Track Run 2011

David and me at the One Hour Track Run (Jan 2011)

The fun didn’t stop there. When I joined the Arkansas Grand Prix last year, I started to meet runners across the entire state. I don’t think there is a place I can go in Arkansas that I won’t be surrounded by an awesome group of people. Hey, seems like a trend is developing here.

I later became a double agent (Half Fanatic & Marathon Maniac). It would be unlikely to go to a half marathon or marathon in this country and not see one of them. They are a special group of insane people that need to be committed to an asylum. Then, I started running around like an idiot.  It just happened. I couldn’t help it. It made sense to join the Idiots Running Club. Forrest Gump was right when he said, “Stupid is as stupid does.” Recently, I decided to become a Run It Fast member, although I’m not the best example of what the name suggests. I continue to “push past my own limits to go further, faster, and do more than I ever have before” as the motto states. My family continues to grow and I couldn’t be happier about it.

 

Marathon Maniacs at Little Rock Marathon (March 2012)

Marathon Maniacs at Little Rock Marathon (March 2012)

 

There are endless movements, clubs, groups, and associations everywhere. Many groups raise money for causes and charities (e.g., St. Jude Heroes, NF Endurance). Other clubs are more eccentric, but equally as lively. You ever heard of Hash House Harriers? Location has nothing to do with it. You can easily be a member of a club in Maine and live in New Zealand. Crow Athletics has members worldwide! I can hear them CAW’ing now.

You may think you are crazy, insane, weird, or all of thee above. It doesn’t matter. There is a place for you. If you don’t think so, you could always run alone, but what fun would that be?



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23 Comments

  1. Joe Jacobs
    April 24, 2012

    Great article Nicholas!

    • Nicholas L. Norfolk
      April 24, 2012

      Thanks!

  2. Annette
    April 24, 2012

    I am so thankful you started on your running journey and I was able to meet you along the way.

    • Nicholas L. Norfolk
      April 24, 2012

      Along the way? You say that like you are leaving me. LOL! Thank you for continuing to be an inspiration! I always enjoy seeing your smiling face.

  3. Tia Pettygrue
    April 24, 2012

    Great blog! I can relate, as when I started my running/weight loss journey, I started alone too. Who knew we’d end up with such a large “family?”

    • Nicholas L. Norfolk
      April 24, 2012

      A very large family that keeps growing! I’m looking forward to meeting and running with all that I can. It’s exciting!

  4. Arland
    April 24, 2012

    You are exactly right, every race is like meeting new family members, and each race is also like a family reunion. It’s been a pleasure to share a few miles with you along your journey.

    • Nicholas L. Norfolk
      April 24, 2012

      Thank you, bro! I’m just as happy to share miles of smiles with you! I look forward to many more!

  5. My Long Distance Love Affair
    April 24, 2012

    I started out as a loner because those who were supposed to accompany me on this journey had other plans, that and my schedule was so erratic so rather than inconvenience anyone or be accused of being flaky…i hit the pavement solo. I still do from time to time for various reasons. Since my journey began, I’ve forged connections that will more than likely be life-long…we’re an unlikely group of runners, but its never a dull moment with us. Love the entry and look forward to reading more of your exploits.

    • Nicholas L. Norfolk
      April 25, 2012

      Thanks for commenting on the post. There is something about groups that bring out things about yourself that you never knew were there. Not only do you train harder, but a nice chat can help in a number of ways.

      At times nothing is said, but just being there with others is always a plus, especially if you are running in the woods.

      • My Long Distance Love Affair
        April 25, 2012

        …running in the woods, that would definitely be an adventure for my crew. However, i’m sure it’ll be the stuff that epic tales are made of, especially since we have stuntwoman tendencies.

  6. Travis Owens
    April 24, 2012

    Great points. I love running with others and chatting along the way. The majority of new friends I have made over the last couple of years have been either into running or fitness. You can always find time and places to run alone.

    • Nicholas L. Norfolk
      April 25, 2012

      I run alone when I have to, which is a good time to think. It’s usually when I come up with ideas for my writing. This weekend I’ll be in Nashville and I can’t wait to make new friends. Running and fitness friends don’t think you are as crazy as the general population does.

  7. Jeff Davenplort
    April 25, 2012

    Excellent article Nicholas! It was good meeting you this past weekend in Carmel and running with you, even if we only talked briefly. You doing Country Music this weekend in Nashville? I’ll look forward to seeing you.

    • Nicholas L. Norfolk
      April 25, 2012

      Yes, I’ll be in Nashville. Maybe we can meet up. I know there will be a ton of Half Fanatics and Marathon Maniacs there. At the least, I’ll make the picture Saturday morning. You plan on going to the dinner Friday night?

  8. ssnaugher
    April 25, 2012

    Great post!! Definitely is a huge social aspect that one would totally miss out on running alone! I started the same way… running by myself and wouldn’t even consider running with a group. Now I have met people from all over the country that all share a passion for running – just makes all more enjoyable to share the experiences with others!

    • Nicholas L. Norfolk
      April 25, 2012

      Sharing the experience is an added benefit. The stories that are told and shared before, during, and after the race are priceless. As I listen, I realize there are people that make my craziness seem normal. I’m like a sponge soaking up all of the information.

  9. Ashleigh
    April 26, 2012

    I’m so glad you have such wonderful people to run with! I enjoy both running with others and alone. I find both to be really fulfilling in their own, unique ways.

    • Nicholas L. Norfolk
      April 26, 2012

      I’m thankful for having such a supportive group. Trust me when I say it’s never a dull moment. I run alone when I have to and as with a group, it has its benefits.

  10. Brandon
    April 26, 2012

    Great post! I love being able to separate myself from my day and spend some time alone out on the road. But I also love lacing up with my wife and knocking out some miles. I have always wanted to join a running group, maybe I will.

    • Nicholas L. Norfolk
      April 26, 2012

      Thanks, Brandon! I’m sure there is a group just waiting on you to join their family. You ready for this weekend? Run strong!

  11. Superman
    July 24, 2012

    Hey Bro,
    I am glad to have shared a few miles with you the past year or so, hope we can do it again soon. We need to be the Caped Crusaders….

    -S

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