Honestly, I LOVE running alone. Sure, every once in a while I will be able to talk a girlfriend or two into running with me (and we always have a great time) and I try to get my hubby to pound the pavement (or the trails) with me once a week, but for the majority of my runs, I am running on my own.
Maybe it is because when I started running I was doing it by myself so that is what I am most comfortable with. Maybe it is because if I run alone I won't compare myself to others (either having to match their speed or worrying if I am slowing them down). Maybe it is because you don't have to rely on anyone else except yourself (if you haven't figured it out by now, I am a bit independent). Maybe it is because I am somewhat selfish and running is "my" time. My time to work through issues. My time to think about life. My time to pray and praise God. My time to get in to my head (and other times get out of my head). My time for ME.
When I am training (not that I am professional or even a fast runner, but I guess what I mean is when I am in a "training mode"), I tend to be more focused and determined. When I run with friends it is more of a social event. We aren't necessarily running for time, but more to be active ad healthy together (don't get me wrong though, I will still wear my Garmin and calculate distances and splits in my head...).
I have realized that not every run will be my fastest ever, not every run will end with a smile, not every run will lead to ground shaking decisions or earth shattering conclusions, not every run will be fun, so sometimes it is worth switching it up. Remember why you started... and ENJOY the journey!!
Although I prefer running alone, I know if it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you. I find it rather fun to try to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
So here is to changing things up and continuing to run with others :)