When I first started running, I absolutely needed someone to run with me. The idea of being out there alone just didn’t appeal to me, plus I knew I needed someone to hold me accountable to make sure I actually went out for my run and to keep me from giving up mid-run.
Now, I prefer the solitude of running alone. I don’t listen to music. It’s just me, my thoughts, and the quiet outdoors.
I don’t feel like I have to keep pace with anyone, or talk to them. I can work through the things that have been on my mind. I can just get lost in my running and not worry about where I’m going. I can see things I otherwise would have missed. I can wonder at the beauty of my surroundings, and for a brief while free my mind of the shackles of my disorders.
This is part of what makes running so therapeutic for me.
The Oatmeal perfectly illustrates why running works for me in one of the comics in his book on running. Unfortunately, I can only find the first panel.
The second panel is the world looking bright and colorful, the burden gone, and the person saying “Wheee! Fuck all that!”
And that is basically what running does for me.