|January 19, 2014||Posted by Carrie under Running|
My friend K and I got up super early on Saturday morning to meet up with a new run group. We arrived at the park while it was still dark, but there was a group of people standing in a circle and stretching, so we knew we were in the right place.
We walked up to the circle and everyone noticed that we were new faces and they all stopped and called out a welcome. Very cool.
We joined the circle next to a woman who I thought at first was the woman who had stopped us on the street to invite us to join them. She wasn’t, but she was super nice.
When I looked at the coach who was leading the stretches and got ready to join in, I realized he was speaking Korean. Ok, not a big deal, a stretch is a stretch. My neighbor friend quietly gave me a few instructions, specifically that we were to do each stretch twice. Okay, then I guess it’ll work.
After stretching for a good 15 minutes, there were announcements. Again, they were in Korean :-0 They were talking about different local races that people are signing up to do as well as planning a golf outing sometime soon :-).
More people were arriving and by the time we were ready to go, there was a group of about 30 people. The woman who invited us did arrive and when the announcements were over, she officially introduced us (and she remembered our names, so I was highly impressed).
They crowded up to do a cheer before heading out and asked K and I to go in the center where they all pounded our backs along with a cheer. Not sure what the cheer said, but I did get a little pumped and ready to run.
We broke up to start our run and our new friend settled in with K and me. She was super nice and very non-competitive runner. She’s run a bunch of half marathons with this group, but she doesn’t wear a watch and she doesn’t care about her time. She’s in it for being social and active. She was very willing to stay with us on our 2:1 run:walk pattern. The rest of the group thinned out to groups of 2 and 3. During my brief chat with the first woman I met, I learned that she had run 20 marathons, so it was quite a diverse running group.
We headed down to the beach and the moon was still high in the sky.
After about 1/2 mile on the strand, the group was meeting up to take some pictures. It was pretty entertaining to join in the pictures, not only because the group is 90% Korean and K and I stick out a bit, but also because they were all wearing their blue running club shirts and I was wearing a bright pink top and K had on a white shirt. Newbies!!!!! Although now that I look at the picture, I don’t think we stand out nearly as much as I felt while we were there.
We made a round trip run and back to the park at just over 4 miles. The group reconvenes at the park and has a bit of social time with coffee and snacks. Although K and I didn’t know that and we had to rush out because she had some kid duties to attend to.
I drove back to K’s house and then headed out on my own to get in my 7 miles for the day. A boring out and back got me to my distance goal. And, it was awesome. Longest run in a very very long time. Mile 6 especially felt so super strong and comfortable. My legs were definitely tired by the end of 7, but it was a good tired.
It was fun to run with a new friend. But, they do meet up a lot earlier than we’d typically run on a Saturday. And, I’m not the biggest fan of stretching before I run, so there’s that. But, it would be fun to do occasionally. The group was all so nice, and it might have been better if we had stayed for the social time. And, it was nice to have an easy 7 miles done before 9AM. Especially on a super busy weekend… but, I did need a nap later in the afternoon.
K and I were talking before our run about Megan Menzies – the mom in Virginia that was out running last week and was struck and killed by a drunk driver. Thousands of runners around the world ran in Meg’s memory this weekend and we did the same. The running community is pretty amazing. I can’t even begin to imagine what her family is going through.
What time do you start your weekend runs? Would you start earlier to run with a group?