I haven't gone on a group run or workout since early summer. When I quit the Y last year, I thought that I would struggle to find the motivation to workout. Nor did I think that I would be able to force myself to workout at home. However, much to my surprise, I have been able to motivate myself and have actually been more diligent about my workouts than I was when I attended fitness classes on a regular basis. I didn't think that running alone would be an issue. I have always enjoyed my alone and time growing up as an only child has kind of prepared me to deal with long periods of solitude. So, I don't feel The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (shout out to Silltoe), which is a major blessing. I do tend to get bored running the same route after a while but that would occur regardless.
The main issues that I have about running and working out alone are that it is easy to get in a training rut. I have made an effort to incorporate some of the exercises that I dislike into my workouts, but when going it alone it is very easy to just do the things that you enjoy day in and day out. And when it comes to running, there is no one around to force you to push the pace or go a bit longer than you planned. Over the past few weeks, I have had some over use strains that I think are the result of my lack of attention to stretching and an imbalance in my workout. I am making an effort to correct the issues, but when your going it alone, it easy to fall back into the same habits. Also, I think that running with other people might just be what I need to push myself out of my comfort level and grow as a runner. Once the weather improves and the time change happens, I'll try to take advantage of some of the local group runs when I get the opportunity. I'm not sure really need to return to taking fitness classes if I am able identify the exercises that I normally avoid and put then into my routine at times. So far, things have gone much better than I expected that they would once Hiro returned to work from the baby, and as long as I can pay attention to the needs of my body and my family, I'll be a happy running dad in 2013.