I signed up for the New York Road Runner’s weekly running club in New York City. I asked my daughter if she would like to join me. She was excited to get into running so she decided to sign up too. After reviewing the criteria, we decided to join the class on Thursday afternoons. The class goal is to get you to run 30 minutes without walking.
“Do you think this class will be not advanced enough for you?” my daughter asked me. “You’re probably the only one who ran a half marathon in the class.”
“No, it will be perfect,” I said. I hadn’t run since the New York City Half Marathon in March and was eager to get back into it.
The first day we met each other uptown in a local school and joined with the other runners. They asked us to go upstairs to the gymnasium for some stretching exercises. We walked like cattle up the stairs. We all sat down in a huge gymnasium. It seemed like there were 100 people there. Everyone was quiet. I looked at my daughter and she looked at me and we smiled. I knew she was thinking the same thing: this was very awkward.
Soon thereafter, a Jamaican woman came into the room and told us what to do. We stretched for almost 10 minutes. After that, we were put into two groups – Beginner and Beginner Intermediate. My daughter and I went into the Beginner Intermediate group.
The Jamaican woman was one of my coaches. She was trying to get everyone to run with their heal first. We walked quickly and even jogged to the park, which was a couple of blocks away. When we got there, we started to run for 10 minutes straight. As we were running, I asked the coach about “chi running.”
“You can do what you want,” she said. “I run with my heel first but I know that Chi Running is a little different. Some people naturally run on their midfoot first. That’s what Chi Running is all about. That and posture.”
I didn’t think the first 10 minutes was hard, but the second 10 minutes felt as if it would never end. Slowly but surely, members of the group started to pass us. At one point, a woman in her seventies ran past us. My daughter and I just laughed.
Since the class, we’ve been trying to practice. This week the practice is run 12 minutes, walk 1 ½ minutes, run 8 minutes.
I can’t tell you it wasn’t hard, but we kept it up. When we were finished with the practice run, we gave each other a high five and winked at each other. We both look forward to the weeks ahead.