Running with friends, even when I'm not technically running with friends, is always a positive experience. I've had numerous running partners over the past eight years and I can't remember a single run that I didn't thoroughly enjoy. As a result, some of the longest runs I've done have felt much shorter. It's all due to the company I keep.
It used to be easier for me to run with other people, because our paces would generally match or I would adjust to other's slower paces. I've lost a lot of speed over the past few years and I've now become "the slow one." Whether I can come back from that is another story. In the meantime, my "group running" is usually done mostly on my own, with a mile or two spent with friends who slow down to accommodate me.
Even with that, I still enjoy group runs because much of the experience involves the planning, the meet-up and the moments where we do interact. Yesterday, while my friends did multiple loops around the lake, I followed the trail back anticipating our reunion at the trail head and the time we'd spend together afterward.
A shared experience can be defined a number of ways. I may have covered half of my miles by myself on Saturday, but I still felt connected to the group. Time went by faster than it would have if I'd done this adventure on my own. The après-run coffee provides a chance for everyone to interact when it's not possible to do that on the road or trail. Yesterday I ran my longest distance to date in 2015 and it seemed to take less time than the two shorter runs that bookended it.
Today's run around my local roads was perfectly fine. Conditions were great and there were enough runners out this morning to make me feel like I was part of something. I'm very pleased with my activity this week, both in terms of running volume and number of workouts. I hope I can maintain that level going forward.