Since picking up running as a hobby I’ve found it to be a bit of a lonely road. Not many of my friends shared the same interest in fitness, and a majority that did hit a gym regularly were crossfitters. Few runners, and none close enough to set up regular runs together. I am lucky to have a running buddy to do the Disneyland Half Marathon with, but she lives on the other side of the country and none of our training is done together.
So I decided to venture out and try to find local run clubs in the city. Bonus points if they did Afters. I was looking for a group that gave me the same social connection my old hobbies did, and I found TWO.
The first group I showed up to was found on Meetup. They were called Run and Brunch and they ran Sunday mornings. We all meet up at 10am and run (or walk, any pace is welcome) for an hour along the lake front, then meet back at Ellys for Brunch. The people are nice even though I’ve only been a few times, with a couple weeks in between each visit. The food is also awesome.
The second group I found I actually noticed on a walk through Wicker Park, and later found them on Meetup. A lot of athletic stores in the city host their own run clubs, and the one at Lulumon fit right in my schedule. I get super excited about this one because it lets me run on the 606, which is a bit if a hike for me to get to if I’m running alone.
I was with the Lulumon group today. There’s a choice of running 3 miles or going for the full 6. I always start out with the longer group, but they’re so fast and I fall behind after the first mile. Today was a bit easier since Sean, the group lead, was only up for doing 4 miles at a reasonable (for him) pace. My goal wasn’t to keep up, but at least to keep them in sight. The motivation really helped, too, I got a personal best on my 5k and Mile times! The group doesn’t normally do Afters, especially since its a week night and we’re all adults with lives, but the last two weeks I’ve been able to get a few people to go to the bar next door for a cold drink with me. I’m pushing for it to become a regular thing.
I intend to keep going to these groups as much as I can. I’m recognizing faces and names and they’re recognizing me. I’m well on my way to getting a new social group of fitness friends, and more importantly, runner friends. There was even talk of us signing up for a 5k as a group! Next week Thursday is actually a special crossover between Lulumon and Shred415 on the trail. I did it last year with them and had a blast. I hope Sunny comes back!
Enough about running, its time to sleep for me. I have a long weekend starting as soon as I get out of work tomorrow.