Most things in life are easier with a friend.
Be it the great philosophical questions or the need to move a dresser, having a friend beside you can make almost any challenge less daunting. For me, this is mostly because of conversation. In the midst of personal turmoil, you need someone around off of whom you can bounce ideas and possible solutions. Or, perhaps, maybe you need someone who will talk about anything except the problem at hand, taking your mind off the trouble. Whatever the reason, it's great to have someone by your side.
This is as true in running as it is in any other aspect of life. First, it's great to have someone waiting for you at the trail. On a Sunday morning when, perhaps, you didn't sleep very well the previous night, it can be very easy to snooze yourself into the early afternoon. If, however, you have someone standing out in the early morning light awaiting your arrival, you don't want to let them down, so you head out the door.
Then, once you're on the trail, a combination of pride and camaraderie keep your feet moving. You support one another and keep one another going, while at the same time challenging one another not to stop. And if you do stop, it's as a group. Together. It's all support, and every step gets easier.
And let's not forget about conversation. I don't run with music anymore, so on three-hour runs, I've got more than enough time to think about any possible topic that pops up. It's nice, once in a while, to allow someone else the chance to direct your brain. You can reminisce about shared experience, or tell stories of individual history. In the case of me and my running partner(s), we can also discuss the adventures that lie ahead, specifically a show we will all be doing this summer. In a sport that requires so much personal attention, I'm thrilled to spend time with others once in a while.
Sunday is rapidly becoming my favorite morning, because I get to run with a friend. And if one is good, more should be better, right? Last week, I ran with a different partner as my usual buddy was out of town. Next week, all three of us may hit the road together. Before you know it, maybe we'll have our own little running club. Maybe not. Either way, I've found a way to run with friends, and it's something I highly recommend.
And what if none of your friends are runners? No problem. Most cities have running clubs that you can join. If you don't have friends who want to run, go out and find runners who want to be friends.
You won't believe the difference it makes.