Mike and I made the last minute decision to try out the Tuesday night run club at City Sports on 19th Street in downtown DC. With the beautiful spring weather finally here and our desire to change things up from our typical route, we thought a run club would be a fun way to mix up our routine and meet new people.
Mike met me at City Sports with my running clothes a little after 6 pm. I changed in the changing rooms in the store and stored my bags behind the register. Matt had done the City Sports Tuesday run once before in the fall and enjoyed it (despite the fact that he got injured during it). He planned to also join this Tuesday’s City Sports run club.
Once the group of about 10 people started to congregate in the store, the run club leader led us all outside. He said we could do a 5K or a 5 miler so we took a vote and decided on, almost unanimously, a 5 miler. I got a little nervous thinking about running without my music for 5 miles. But I didn’t want to seem anti-social so left my iPod shuffle in my bag. I only noticed a couple people with earbuds for the run.
Everyone was really friendly while we all made small talk outside. Most were regular run clubbers, with only 1 or 2 other new runners. Two City Sports employees ran with us and said we’d keep about an 8:30 pace. Once we started running, we quickly broke into two groups, partly due to the street light timing and partly due to speed. I was surprised how fast some people were running – I’d guess about 7:30. Unfortunately my Garmin wasn’t able to locate me for about the first half mile. Once my watch turned on, I tried to keep around an 8:00 pace. Matt and I ran together while Mike sprinted to the front of the pack and we quickly lost sight of him. The group thinned out pretty quickly but Matt and I were following a girl in her 20s who luckily knew the route (since I wasn’t really paying attention when the run club leader told us).
We all met back at the store and were given bottles of water. I was surprised at how quickly the 4.5 miles went! It actually wasn’t bad not listening to music. Matt and I chatted for awhile and we talked with the girl we were running with, as well, about upcoming races and run clubs. The group hung out outside for awhile.
For one of my first run clubs, I really enjoyed it. It’s nice to have other people push you and to have a different running route. Everyone was very social and friendly. The time flew by! Also, I think you can build up credits at City Sports when you do their run clubs for store discounts. On our drive home, we noticed fairly large groups of runners running down the Mall. Apparently Nike and another City Sports location also hold Tuesday night run clubs. Maybe we’ll try a different one next week!