As many of my running friends know, I have a great fear of running alone. There are many reasons why I have this fear. To name a few, I’m afraid of encountering—and getting bitten by—dogs; I’m afraid of getting attacked by muggers (or worse); and due to my awful sense of direction, I’m afraid of getting lost. Of course, I’ve had countless nightmares of experiencing all these fates at once.
Due to my fears, the only places I go running by myself are on the high school track, around (and around and around, etc.) my block, on the treadmill, and on sidewalks of the busy downtown area of the city I live in (where I have to keep stopping to cross the street). All other places I’ve run, I have been with others. I’m very thankful to all my running friends!
Yet, the time is quickly approaching, during the course of my marathon training, where I’ll have to venture out on my own. My training plan consists of many fairly long runs, and I know it won’t always be possible to have a friend join me on all of them. While running 10, 15, or more miles on a track or treadmill is physically possible, I’m fully aware that it would be…well, kind of STRANGE if I did this.
With running, as with anything else in life, I believe it’s always good to get out of our comfort zone. It’s the only way we can gain the confidence to take on new challenges and see how strong we really are. I think I’m now ready to get out of my own comfort zone and head out on the roads—by myself. I may even do this tomorrow. And I have a feeling it won’t be nearly as scary as I thought.