I did it. I went out of my comfort zone and went on a group run. The group run is hosted by a local running shop that has the group runs every Monday. As any overweight person might expect, I was freaking nervous about going there with all these insanely fit people. But this journey is about expanding my horizons.
At first there were only a few people in front of the running shop, so I introduced myself and learned that I wasn't the only one doing the group run for the first time. This was good news. I chit chatted with a few people until it was time to head out to the trail.
The 'leader' explained that there were a few different pace groups, so I automatically went to the slowest group. There were four of us, pacing around a 10 min. mile. This was comfortable for me. I actually liked the little group and found out that one of the girls is training for her first half. She will be doing the same half marathon in Erie, PA that I'll be doing! Unfortunately, two of the girls were just doing two miles and I wanted to do more, so I kept going after they turned around so I didn't get her name. Hopefully they will be there next Monday. It would be nice to have someone to talk to at the Half in Erie.
The other guy that I had been running with had to walk, so I was further out than him too and I think he must have turned around when the girls did. I hope he comes back to the running group. He was either just starting or just starting back and got a little winded. I can empathize, been there. Hopefully, he doesn't quit coming just because he had to walk.
I didn't have to run by myself though. A man, named Steve, came back to run just as the rest of the group made the turn around. He had already run quite a bit that day, 8 miles I believe. So we set a target for 2 miles out and 2 back. The rest of the group, who had left us in the dust, were doing 20 minutes out and 20 minutes back, so we figured at our pace we should finish around the same time. Steve ran a little faster than the group I had been running with, so I picked up the pace for mile 2. That didn't last very long though. My knees started killing me. I actually had to walk a little after mile three and had been slowing down. Since he had run some earlier, he took the walk break with me. It did give us a little time to chat though which was nice. I learned that a group does hash runs. Basically, a person goes ahead of everyone else, marks a crazy path, sometimes leading people the wrong way so that they run longer. You can check out their group here. It sounds pretty cool and they have a run tomorrow, but with my knees I think I need to take a day off in between runs. Might check it out another time though. I'll definitely do the group run again. I hope there are more 'slower' people there, so that I'll have someone to run with, but if not then at least I won't have an excuse to not do a run!
Got to get to bed. Have a good night!