One of the big advantages of running is that you can do it almost anywhere, and with a minimum of (necessary) equipment. Biking is much safer and efficient if you can find a route of quiet roads, but running isn't as dependent on location. You can just step out your door and start running. No need to head to the gym or plot out a map. As long as you have 30 minutes free, you can fit a run in to all but the busiest of schedules.
But until race day, running is a pretty solitary sport. Biking is much more social. It is easier to chat while riding, and differences in pace don't seem as pronounced as they are in running. Bike riding seems more like an event than a workout, and since it generally takes more time, people are more likely to set aside time to do it with friends.
I had a close knit running group back in Seattle, Team Drunken Promise. Although others have joined in for certain races, the core of the group is made up of four people - Cherie, Tami, Wendy and myself. We have run a few marathons, several half marathons and a 190 mile relay run together. At one point I was dubbed 'coach' since I had done the most research on training, but now I am 'Charlie' to my 'Angels'.
We are all planning on running the Seattle Rock n Roll Half Marathon at the end of June, hopefully with a few more friends joining in on the fun. A few people asked me to draw up a training schedule both for the half and full marathon, so though we aren't all running together, we are still sort of connected on the calendar. Cherie and Wendy have been sending me text messages to update me on their training, and those simple messages keep me further in the loop.
My running has been a little uninspired lately. I have been getting in the miles, but I don't feel as connected to the training as I have been. I haven't been eating as well either, so I am feeling a little fat and slow. My running pace is actually decent, but I can't shake the feeling of being out of shape. I will be running the Carlsbad 5000 in two weeks and it is anybody's guess how that will go.
After getting the text messages yesterday, I felt like I needed to get focused for the team. It felt like I should be taking the training schedule as seriously as they are, especially since I wrote it. I went on a six mile run this morning, and it felt pretty good. It was actually cool and blustery, so it felt a little like Seattle (though I did avoid the rain). I held a good pace throughout, and the final mile was the fastest.
Connections to other people chasing after the same goal can make all the difference. Even 160 characters at a time.