One thing struck me as I was running around the Ranch with Scott this past Sunday. While I do 99% of my running alone, or at least not directly in sync with another, the times I do get out with another person or a group really have an impact on how I view things. For example, as I've mentioned, I am taking a mitigated approach to increasing volume and really focusing on a base of mileage that will hopefully bring me to August in true top form.
Just having that person there to validate my thoughts is nice, because on every other run, I'm thinking these things and basically throwing them out into space with no response. About 2.5 hrs into the run on Sunday, we'd begun talking a lot about how to prepare for ultras (or running in general) and the need to build into fitness as opposed to holding fitness for an extended period of time. There are different schools of thought here, but it was interesting to hear Scott's version of the story as well as the similar but different views of his 2 coaches both past and current.
As well, I think about the weekend prior out in Buffalo Creek with Woody, Leila, Brendan, and Ryan. Running with them has a different feel than pounding out the miles by myself, almost a family quality, therapeudic even. It was cool to hear Brendan's thoughts as he and I are quite close in age.
This past Thanksgiving my family was staying in west Evergreen and Rachel and I went out for a run up into the Mt. Evans wilderness that was one of the true highlights of my year. Sharing the experience of being on the trail with the person you love most is something that is hard to explain. I got pretty excited when Rachel mentioned to me she was thinking of running 3 trail races next summer (post baby), as it means more shared experiences in the outdoors.
I think that as we interact while running we get a validation of our thoughts, and in a weird way, a family. I do like running alone, but the experience of sharing the trails with others has become a much needed way to validate my trail running soul.