Take Two

Wednesday evening, I decided to give the group run another shot. I got there really early this time, because I wanted to check out some new shoes. After trying on a few different pairs, I ended up with a new pair of the same shoes I wore in. Go figure.

By the time I was finished shopping, runners were starting to arrive. I got to chatting with a few people, and then it was time to run. And, just like last week, by half a mile in, everyone was well ahead of me.

But it was okay, really. I know the route now, and it’s nice just to run different streets than I usually do. And afterward, there were free 32-ounce water bottles. Hooray for free stuff!

Well, That Didn’t Go Well

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.

Change of Plans

This morning, I skipped my scheduled early morning run – week 6 day 2 of the Couch to 5K.  It wasn’t just so I could sleep in (with a three-year-old in the house, there’s no such thing). It was because tonight, I’m going to do something that I haven’t done in in 10 years: I’m going on a group run.

In 1999 and 2000, I lived in Chicago, just off Addison and Lake Shore Drive. Chicago runners probably know that location, since the Totem Pole is a popular meeting spot for running groups. My first week in Chicago, I walked down Broadway to a vitamin store that had a whole bunch of flyers for various races. I went in and chatted with the lady behind the counter, who quite suddenly asked me, with a charming British accent, “Are you a lesbian?”

She then told me about Frontrunners, and I went running with them several times. They’re a fantastic group, and I’m not just saying that because the first time I went running with them we all went out to Joy’s Noodle and Rice afterward.

That was the first and last group I’ve run with. I’d like to meet up with the local chapter, but the timing just hasn’t worked out. I’ve looked several times for a group that was close enough and met at a convenient time. A few months ago, a yoga teacher told me about a somewhat-local running store with weekly group runs. At the time, I was working the same evening as the run, and then I started working two evenings per week and didn’t want to miss a third evening with my family. But this week, I am on vacation! And what better way to spend a vacation evening than checking out a new-to-me shop and running group?

Fret not, I’m also planning to do a little knitting this vacation. Clearly, the Universe was unhappy to hear about my knitting apathy. A few test knitting opportunities fell my way yesterday, and I’m still working on my entry for the Loopy Ewe Mini-Challenge:

Lotus Blossom Tank in Progress

I’m not entirely sure the tank is going to fit me. Maybe I should go run a bit more.