Yesterday morning, I caught the subway to Central Park. There I met up with a large group of women all gathered for a Sunday morning running group sponsored by a local store. I’ve long wanted to be a part of a running group, but I guess I keep waiting for ideal circumstances i.e. I walk a block or two from my home to the meeting point. That’s highly unlikely to happen. I have been tracking a number of running groups that meet in Central Park but had yet to go to one. Normally they are pretty early in the morning, but this one started at 10 am and the stars aligned so that it fell a few hours after D left for one of his 24 hour calls.
I’ve been a runner my whole life. I ran track in high school and jumped into lengthier running in college, running 5-10k’s regularly, as well as one half marathon and two fulls. However, since moving to NYC I’ve been very lazy about running. There is a little track very close to our apartment and another large park nearby that I have heard hosts many cross-country races, but I’ve yet to make it to the running club that meets there. I did try one time, but by the time I located our car in the garage and drove over to the listed meeting place, it was a minute after the start time and no one was there. Plus, I was still in the car with no available parking spots in sight.
So I found this run a few weeks ago and signed up. The organizers split the group into three groups: beginners, intermediate, and advanced. I was planning on going with the intermediate group due to my recent non-running status, but they were breaking us up by pace, with the intermediate falling between 10-11 minutes. That’s a little slower than I normally run, so I went with the advanced group (8-9 minute miles). The only problem was this group was running 5 miles, something I haven’t done in…well, I really can’t remember when I last ran more than 3 miles and that was a one time occurrence months ago. But I decided a running group was a perfect opportunity to push myself, especially since I could always wimp out and meet back at the pre-designated stretching spot. I was in so much pain the last mile (side stitch), but I finished the 5+ mile run was so happy to have pushed myself.
I’m definitely hoping to go back, or maybe explore again closer running group options. And, I got on the New York Road Runners site to look for races. Winter is definitely not high time for races, but I’ll keep looking.