It’s possible that the Universe was trying to tell me that going to the Group Run was a bad idea.
It started with me being unable to find the freeway on-ramp. I forgot that the nearby ramp was closed and that the detour instructions make no sense at all. Then, I made it onto the freeway, which was completely packed with cars. After taking 40 minutes to make a 20-minute trip, I found the store, which was surrounded by residential streets with strict permit-only parking and a few 2-hour meters. Guess who had no quarters in the car? I dashed into a drug store to change my $5 bill for some ones and some quarters.
I made it into the store a few minutes before the scheduled beginning of the run. I just had time to sign in before we all headed out the door.
I knew I was in trouble in the first few blocks, really. The web site said all abilities were welcome, and the pace ranged from 7 to 14 minutes per mile. By the end of the first half-mile, they were at least a block ahead of me, and I lost them all a turn or two after that. They had distributed a cheat sheet with the route written out on it, which probably would have been more useful if I knew the neighborhood. At some point, I took a short cut, going straight on instead of turning left for another loop of side streets, and was about half a block from the store when the first member of the group came flying by me. So, at least I got to stretch out with the group. But, you know, I can run three miles by myself without driving half an hour each way first.
I’ll probably give it another shot, though. I’d like to get there a little earlier next time and get a chance to meet some of the people. And now I know I need to bring some quarters.