Yesterday was all I could have asked for. I met with the running club at the designated meeting area and was immediately welcomed into the group by the woman, we'll call her FJ, who had volunteered to attempt guide running. She came over and introduced herself and we pretty much hit it off right from the beginning. We're probably the same height, she may be a little taller, and this lent itself well to us running well together.
We started our jog with my arm draped over her forearm; sort of a beginner's stance that allows the guide and the guidee to get very intimate with each other's movements. It wasn't long before we switched from that position to using a shoelace doubled on itself, between us, which acted as our tether. We both were a bit shaky to begin with, but soon we were running along, as if we had known each other forever.
I did find that I had to change my stride a bit, but I think it's due to the way in which long distance runners actually run. From everything that I have read, shorter strides are better for marathons and such long distances and most of the runners were running in this manner; including FJ.
I really enjoyed myself and was impressed at how easily FJ adapted to running with someone attached to her. She easily navigated me around people, frolicking children and leash free dogs. We ran at quite a slow pace as she is saving her legs for the London Marathon that is being run this upcoming weekend and also because I haven't really been as active as I should. Surprisingly though, I managed to get through two miles feeling really good. I was shocked at how quickly the time flew by and with it the distance. I had no idea that I would be able to run two miles. That was really encouraging to me. Perhaps a half marathon in October is a realistic goal. If that's the case, I have a lot of work to do between now and then.
Sunday I am supposed to meet with more of the runners at a cafe after their long run for the week. FJ won't be there as she'll be off running her marathon, but it will give me a chance to get to know other runners. Apparently, there are at least two other women who are interested in guiding, which will be really nice. The more guides I have, the more likely I'll be able to get outdoor runs in and be able to run that half marathon in October.
One interesting thing that I learned about FJ is that she does triathlons as well. This obviously made me very excited because that means that there is the potential for her to guide me in a triathlon eventually. Obviously, that is something to be discussed in the future, but it's good to know that it may be an option. I really enjoyed my run with FJ and I hope it's something that will continue in the future. She's already said that although she cannot guide me this upcoming Monday, she'd be more than willing to run another workout with me the following Monday. I think it's a great start and is incredibly encouraging.