A few days ago, I asked Stephanie if she was doing a long run this weekend, because I was hoping for some company. She told me that she had plans Saturday morning, so she couldn't; but we decided to make plans to run next weekend instead. All day yesterday, however, I'd forgotten that it was NEXT weekend that we were planning to run together, and I was so sure it was this morning.
Last night, I laid my clothes out on my dresser so that I could just get up and get dressed for our run. Just before bed, I was going to send her a confirmation text, when I realized that I may have remembered incorrectly. I'm glad I texted her, because she reminded me it was next weekend! I would have shown up at her house at 7:30 this morning if I hadn't asked, haha.
I really wanted some company on my run today, so last night I was thinking about asking on Facebook if anyone was interested in running 10-12 miles with me today. Then I decided to Google "group runs" in my area, and saw that RUNdetroit (a running store in Detroit) hosts a group run every Saturday morning at 8:00--a 3-miler, a 6-miler, and a 10-miler. I'd never actually gone to a group run before, so I wasn't sure I wanted to do it. Attending a new group thing without a friend by my side made me very nervous. However, maybe the psychotherapy and anxiety meds are working, because I decided that I was going to go.
I set my alarm for 5:00 (even though I've been waking up earlier) and my clothes were already laid out. This morning, I actually was asleep when my alarm went off! I immediately thought, "Forget it, I'm not going... I'm tired!" but I couldn't go back to sleep after that, so I decided to go. I knew I'd have to run 10-12 miles today regardless, and it would be more fun with other people.
So, I got dressed (it was going to be a cold morning!) and headed up to Detroit at about 7:00. The store was easy to find, and there was free parking right across the street, which was nice. I could see a lot of runners heading into the store, so I just followed them in. It was my first time inside of RUNdetroit, and it was a nice store! I was greeted by an enormous dog (I later learned he belongs to the owner, who brings him to work--although during store hours, he has to stay in the back of the store). Thankfully, I'm over my fear of dogs, so I gave him a pet before standing around a little awkwardly.
Everyone that came in seemed to know each other already, which I expected. A woman named Stacey introduced herself to me, and I'm grateful for that! I told her it was my first time there, and she explained how it worked. She gave me a mini map, and introduced me to the co-owner of the store, Justin Craig. He explained the route to me, and said that once everyone got there, he'd find out who else was running the 10-miler at my pace. He pulled up the route on the computer to explain it in more detail, which was helpful later.
A few minutes later, he introduced me to a couple of women (Nelly and Sherry, who were sisters). They were doing the 10-miler, and Nelly told me that they'd be doing about a 10:30-11:00 pace, which was just fine with me. Since it was my long run, I wanted to keep my heart rate under 146... I didn't mind going slower than I would have on my own, but I didn't want to go faster. There was a guy that joined us as well (I missed his name, unfortunately!). At 8:00, everyone headed outside, and just started running.
Most people were doing the 3-miler, several doing the 6-miler, and there were very few doing the 10-miler. I ran next to Nelly, with Sherry and the guy (who I think was her boyfriend) just in front of us. I was happy just to follow along. Making small talk helped pass the time, and the three of them were super nice.
It was interesting, because they were all from the area, while I only go to Detroit about 10 times a year. I LOVE Detroit, but I still don't know my way around. I loved looking around at the scenery, and I asked about certain buildings. The things that I found so fascinating were just everyday scenes for them, so they probably thought I was a little odd being so excited and interested in it all.
The course we ran was pretty nice. I wish I'd taken pictures, but I already felt out of place, so I didn't want to feel even more so. The whole 10 miles passed really quickly, and I felt great! My heart rate was pretty low the whole time (except for running up an overpass at mile five). We made it back to the store, finishing the run at mile 10.5.
I'm so glad that I ended up going! I would definitely do it again (and I likely will). Stepping out of my comfort zone is never easy, but a lot of times, I'm glad I did--and today was one of those times. I wish that we had a running group in my hometown, but Detroit is probably the closest that I know of. If any of you are thinking about going to a run group, I encourage you to give it a try! Just introduce yourself to some people and let them know you're new--they will likely be happy to help you find someone to stick with during the run.
I thanked Justin and told him I'd be back again. When I got in the car, the middle finger of my hand was cold and completely white. It's from Raynaud's syndrome, and I usually get it on my toes and the heels of my feet... but once in a while, it'll happen to my fingers. Today, it was just my middle finger:
Kind of creepy looking, right?! My younger brother, Nathan, has it pretty bad on his fingers. Every time he runs, all of his fingers turn as white as the tip of my middle finger above. He has medication for it, but you have to take it a full day ahead of time, so it's hard to remember. When it happens to my heels and toes, it drives me crazy! They get totally numb. It's harmless, but it looks kind of freaky ;)
Anyway, fun run today! New scenery, new friends, new experiences :)