The past few weeks have been crazy busy for me. Among other things, this has meant that my longer runs/hikes have not been on the weekend and/or not been in Colorado Springs. So I have had to go solo. While I am quite the independent person who does not like to ask for help, I am somehow not very good at going solo.
My last post (from forever ago) was about the importance of running friends and community. I really don't think I would be in the shape I am if it were not for them. I don't have a lot of trouble getting up early in the morning. But it makes it a lot easier when I am meeting someone. I have no problem getting up at 4:30 to be at the pool or the trail at 5:30 if I know someone else will be there. I have even had regular weeks when I am getting up before 4! It is so much harder to get up and out the door when on my own. I also get nervous going on my own.
Three weeks ago I was up in Frisco for a math training. I figured I should take advantage of already being in the mountains and add a 14er on to the end. A friend was supposed to join me, but had to cancel. So, if I were to hike, I would have to do it solo. Original plan was for a longer hike/run, but due to weather concerns I decided to go for a shorter hike and headed to Kite Lake to hike Lincoln, Democrat and Bross (~8 miles total). It took pushing from friends and a lot of deep breaths to convince myself that I would be okay doing it. It was a hike I had done before. It was probably 10 years ago, but I had an idea of the trail and what I was in for. And, while I was not going with anyone I knew, I figured there would be many other hikers. I was not wrong, the trail was very busy. And the hike went well. There were other issues with my car dying at the trail-head and me having to rely on my brother-in-law and the kind people of Al-Mart (in Alma) and Breck Subie (in Breckenridge), but that story is for another time.
Because my hike was shorter, I wanted to get my longer hike/run in on Sunday. But it did not fit with my friend's schedules so I was, once again, on my own. And it, once again, took a lot of deep breathes to get out the door. But I did it and ran 15+ miles on my own. And, again, it went well. Each time I go out, I can feel my confidence building. I'm not even sure what I am worried about, but there is a lot more stress when I am solo than when I'm with others.
Two weekends ago I went on an amazing hut trip with the organization Live By Living. They organize hut trips and hikes for people who are cancer survivors as well as their caretakers. I had planned on running the Pikes Peak Ultra that weekend, but the trip offer was hard to turn down. And, again, I decided to add a 14er on to the end of the trip. This time the weather looked
perfect and I took advantage to hike Mt Massive. It is a longer hike (~14 miles) and one I had not done before. I did ask friends for advice, but there were a lot fewer deep breaths needed. I guess it is one of those things that the more you do, the more comfortable you get.
And, this time, I only passed two people on the way up. So, most of my time was really spent alone, and it was pretty great. I would have loved to have hiked with friends, but was very okay hiking alone.
Today, I was, once again, solo. I had planned to meet up with friends, but they had to bail in the morning and so I headed out. It took some pep talking to keep going when I could have stopped halfway, but I did it and, it was pretty okay.
So, while I much prefer hiking and running with friends, I am learning that I can definitely, when needed, go it alone. And that feels pretty good.