So, what do you do when your kids are away at camp? Lounge around the house and enjoy the peace and quiet? That's what we did last night after a run/bike combo. I went out for a 3 mile run and my husband, MD, decided to tag along on his bike. Well, that lasted all of 0.25 miles. We ran into a neighbor. I kept running and MD stopped to chat for a minute; he said "I'll catch up to you.' I went out and back on my normal route and he was still there ... standing with his bike, talking to the neighbor as the neighbor absentmindedly watered his yard. So, I don't have any pictures from this run. MD had graciously offered to carry my phone and my water. Running companion fail. (I kid, I kid. Not really. I was really wanting my water around mile 2.)
Tonight, not necessarily to make up for bailing on last night's run but just because he knew I was interested, MD encouraged me to check out a local running store's weekly group run. I had seen their posts on Facebook and the flyer at the store this past weekend while there and was curious but still unsure. Other than organized 5Ks and running with a pal here and there, I had never participated in a group run. I was unsure of their route, the paces of the other runners and if they were going to be clique-ish at all. I was feeling pretty insecure about me and whether or not I'd be able to hang with the crowd both physically and socially. If he hadn't encouraged me, I know I wouldn't have gone. I haven't gone all summer since they started the group runs. I always had a reason why it wouldn't work out.
Well, tonight two of my main reasons weren't around. Our girls are away at camp. So, the girls couldn't be a reason we didn't go check out the run. And, MD was interested, too. The friend who just so happens to be a fishing guide also just so happens to be the new owner of our local Fleet Feet. While they were fishing on Friday, David (the friend/guide/owner) told MD about the group runs and encouraged him to come check it out. So, we went.
And, I was glad. The crowd was just big enough to call it a crowd, every one was friendly and they had a representative from Pearl Izumi there with shoes. You could ask all the questions you wanted and try out a pair of the shoes during the run! So cool! I opted to run in my Brooks; however, maybe next time I will be even more brave (it was brave of me to go tonight, winky smiley face) and actually speak to the guest rep and try their product.
After everyone got settled into a pair of shoes (those that opted to try them out, and there were several) we all headed outside the store to run. We started off down a main road (where the store is located) and then turned off into a neighborhood. Being that I don't live in the area we were running in (I live miles and a big bridge away), I wasn't sure where we were at all times. I just did my best to keep the group in my sights! About a mile into the run, I realized they had arrows spray-painted on the neighborhood streets for us to follow. This allowed me to relax a little bit and not to try to push my pace just for the sake of not getting lost or turned around. My husband chose to run/walk the route and, at one point, cut across and met me around the mile 2 mark (he had done about 1.25 miles). This made me smile. Afterall, it was date night. We should spend more of the run together, right?! :) I hadn't seen him since the mile 1 mark when he decided to take a walk break while I kept on running. It was about 30 seconds after this meet-up that it started to drizzle and about 30 seconds after that that it started to full out rain. We ran the last mile in pretty decent rain and just as I was about done appreciating the cooling effect and beginning to get annoyed with it, I realized that we were coming out of the neighborhood and about 5-6 minutes from being back at the store and done with the run. And, the rain stopped.
The run ended up being 3.18 miles ran in 33:57 for me. I am pleased with it and so thankful that MD encouraged me to go check it out. I hope to make it back next Tuesday!
Some shots from the run (just before and after, none taken during since I had MD carry my phone for me. I guess I didn't learn. :))
Folks mingling around the store as everyone started to arrive.
Pearl Izumi rep, Michael, (in black tank) chatting with a runner (in yellow) while my husband grabs some pre-run water. When we got back in from the run, that table had pizza for the taking! Woot! That was a happy surprise!
Runners heading out. I stayed back for a few seconds so that I could see what was going on, etc. I was still a little uncomfortable not knowing what exactly to expect. Silly nerves.
Post run! I was excited. I managed to stay with the group - even if at the back of the pack - and had a great time. I actually liked running in the rain. Granted it was only for a mile or so; I might have a different opinion if the rain was heavier and lasted longer.
Oh! They had a raffle! And, MD won! He won this pair of Optic Nerve sunglasses. They're in shiny metallic grey (which isn't really that shiny) and have interchangeable lenses. He can go with the mirrored lenses or swap them out for copper ones.
They look good on him, right?! I know, I know. I'm a bit biased. He was actually pretty excited to have these. He's been running in a pair of Costas that are more for fishing than running.
If you have never tried a group run, do it! I know lots of local running stores host them. Hunt one down and give it a try! I really did enjoy this one and will go back.