So there’s this guy on Instagram who calls himself Runnermarx. In the months that I’ve been following him, I’ve pulled quite a bit of inspiration and motivation from his posts. And every now and then, Runnermarx coordinates a group run somewhere in LA, bringing runners from all parts of the Southland together… thus #unitedLA.
I decided I was going to join one of his group runs. Yeah, I know, I’m not an Angeleno. I’m from North Orange County… so close enough, right? Besides, Runnermarx invited me by tagging me in his post announcing the group run.
So on March 22, I drove up to LA to join the ALL PACES 10 mile run that was scheduled at Griffith Park at 7:30am.
To be honest, I almost didn’t go. I had crazy doubts and insecurities floating around my head in the days leading up to the group run. I kept thinking that I’d be the slowest runner out there… that I’d get lost on the trails… get eaten by a mountain lion…
But the night before, someone else who was tagged in the post reached out to me via Instagram and that solidified my resolve to make it to the run.
The group that assembled that morning wasn’t too big… wasn’t too small… it was just right.
Once we got started, we naturally divided up into groups by pace. I’m guessing the front runners were running a 7:30ish pace… too fast for me. Personally, I was planning to run a 9:30 or 10 minute pace.
It wasn’t long before the lead pack was out of site and we missed a turn. So we back tracked and met up with the group that was behind us. Luckily, one of them knew the route so we were good.
Eventually, even this smaller group started to thin out by pace. I decided to hang back with Danielle (@sweetsumatra) because I didn’t want her to be running the trail alone. Besides, she was the one who reached out to me via IG the night before.
We chatted a bit. We motivated and pushed each other. Eventually, when we got to the mid-point of the run we found part of the group waiting for us, cheering us on. It was a great feeling to receive that support from folks that we only just met!
Danielle and I ran the rest of the 5 miles together, supporting and pushing each other along the way. We got to the end of the 10 mile run and found Runnermarx there celebrating our finish. He even snapped some shots of us.
I’m glad I went on this run. I’m glad that I didn’t give in to my doubts and insecurities. I met my goal of 9:30-10:00 min pace. The camaraderie I experienced in this group turned strangers into friends. I’ve made new IG friends and a new running buddy in Danielle!
This was my first run with #unitedLA but it won’t be my last!
Do you like to run in a group, with a partner, or solo?