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Challenging Myself

April 14, 2011

June 1st will mark my 2 year anniversary of living in NYC (wow time flies!) and I’ve finally gotten settled enough to try to branch out of my comfort zone and try to get more involved with groups I should have been frequenting a long time ago: running clubs!

I know most people want to branch out right away upon moving to a new location in order to meet new people that share their same passions, but clearly I’m backwards. I wanted to get settled in, become secure with myself and what I want to do, and then meet new people. I definitely don’t consider myself a socially outgoing person (despite working in public relations…) so this was a big step for me to take.

So, this week I dove right in. And I’m happy I did 🙂

On Wednesday, I went to an event sponsored by the NYRR YPC (New York Road Runners Young Professional Committee). Wednesday night’s session was a women-only event on sports nutrition featuring Registered Dietitian Lauren Slayton of Foodtrainers.

Source: NYRR YCP Facebook Album

Lauren was a great presenter and spoke a lot about how to fuel before, during and after runs and races. I learned a lot, and enjoyed some of the free samples of coconut water, eboost, and more. It was a nice, low key, easy way to get a bit more involved with some of the great programs NYRR puts on. I will definitely be back for more YPC events! I will be out of town for the fun run/happy hour at the end of the month, but looking forward to more 🙂

And tonight, I made an even bigger step. I went to my first Central Park Track Club workout.

Let me explain a bit as to why it’s taken me two years to join a running club here in NYC, despite competitively racing and running on my own. A team would be a logical step for someone in my situation.

Not so easy. As I get to a bit in my about me page, I ran for an extremely competitive collegiate program, Villanova. Though a walk on, we worked out hard, ran fast, and raced often. I loved it, but also faced some struggles with low-iron my junior year, and this bizarre IT/knee injury my senior year. We couldn’t figure out what was wrong with my knee from December-April, and I tried everything: elliptical, biking, swimming, running, cortisone shots, graston therapy, MRIs, active release therapy, etc. It was exhausting and frustrating when I wasn’t getting better and nobody could tell me what happened. My last race (a 5K entirely in pain) in mid-April 2009 was bittersweet: I was going to miss everything about Villanova running so much, but I was so happy it was over at the same time because now I could just stop.

After that race, I took 3 months entirely off running and exercise of any type. That was the longest time I’ve ever taken off running since I started in 9th grade, and it was much needed. I didn’t miss running one bit at the start, and I knew I needed time to heel my knee issues. Then one day in July, I realized it was exactly three months to the day from my last run, and I got curious. If my knee pain wasn’t gone by now, it must be a deeper issue. I ran 1 mile that day and I’ve been pain-free ever since.

By October 2009, I was back running regularly and started to find a new joy in running by doing it when I wanted and how I wanted. I didn’t want to do workouts, so I didn’t. I needed to rediscover my love for running again on my own terms, and it took some time. I’d say I finally got really passionate again after the 2010 NYC Half-Marathon. I ran 1:29 that year, much faster than I thought I could off no workouts and random mileage (I didn’t even keep a log), and put my motivation towards the 2010 NYC Marathon. And now, beyond.

Slowly but surely, I’ve incorporated workouts back into my weekly routine. The more I got under my belt and the more I wanted to do workouts, the more I didn’t want to do them alone. The more long runs I ran, the more I didn’t want to run them alone. The more races I went to, the more I wanted to know people!

And that brings me to tonight. After hearing how much runners like Megan enjoy CPTC for both workouts and social aspects, I thought it might be the right fit. They meet weekly in Central Park for workouts on Thursday, and you need to attend 4 workouts in order to officially join. Tonight’s workout kicked my butt!

1 mile in 6:20, recovery jog, 2 miles in 12:50 (6:25 pace), recovery jog, 1 mile in 6:30 (oof..). The route was hilllllly and I was not used to running that fast. With my warmup, the workout, recovery jogs and cooldown, I think I ran about 10 miles total. I have a feeling this will be a good thing for me, I just had to get over the scary initial hump and get excited about joining and challenging myself!

What was the most ‘new’ thing you did to challenge yourself this week? Do you belong to any groups that support your hobbies/passions?

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Meggie permalink
    April 14, 2011 10:40 pm

    I also go to a running club — West Side Y RRC. We also run in the Park and sometimes on the West Side Hwy in the summer. I agree, running with people is much better. I’m not always able to, but try to at least buddy up with someone whenever possible. Hope you enjoy CPTC! I’m def not good enough to join that one!

  2. April 15, 2011 11:57 am

    I’m so glad you came Wednesday night and enjoyed the event. It’s too bad we didn’t meet though! I learned so much from Lauren; she was great and we really appreciated that she donated her time, too!

    Your story is so interesting. I’m glad you’ve found your love for running again and it sounds like a really logical approach to it all! I’ve never joined a running club in the city but mostly because I’m not very fast and don’t like falling behind! I do run with friends sometimes though, which I do enjoy. It’s a great way to hang out with friends without it being centered around food or alcohol! 😉 Hope you have a great weekend! We really should meet sometime soon!

  3. April 15, 2011 1:47 pm

    Nice job on the workout! That sounded like a tough one. It took me many months (and self-bribery) to get myself to my first CPTC practice 🙂

  4. April 15, 2011 3:23 pm

    I heard about that workout! Nice job – and great for you getting out there. That’s always a tough thing for me to do too. I didn’t know about all you’ve been through with injures and such – so glad you’ve found your love for running again! I would love to try out a CPTC workout, but it never fits with my work/school schedule. Boo. someday, I hope!

  5. April 18, 2011 5:40 pm

    I love the YPC events…sad I had to miss the nutrition one! Lots of fun people.

    I really want to join a running team (both for making me faster, but admittedly for social aspects as well), but I’m scared to show up and be slow!! I know Sarah who runs with CPTC, but they’re FAST. I also have friends on the Flyers and Whippets who are trying to get me to join. My schedule is so wacky that it makes it hard to show up to runs on a regular basis, which makes it hard too. I’m also REALLY scared to show up!!

  6. May 5, 2011 10:45 am

    Awesome times!!! Good workout



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