It was a chilly morning, but I felt a bit invigorated already because I had caught the bus up 1st Ave, got out at 68th Street and then walked across town up to the 72nd Street entrance of the Park. The fresh air and warm-up walk did me the world of good.
So we met in Central Park at the usual Bethesda Terrace location for our 10am start and I was really pleased to see Flock and Flora there too. We work together, we jog together. Group suffering is so much easier to bear, I think. We got into it pretty much straight away and after the coaches and mentors introduced themselves to our huge group we broke up into jogging groups to get started. The New Jersey and Madrid running groups headed off in one direction, and the NYC half-marathoners headed off in another.
An easy run this morning, they said. Only 1.7 miles (or "the lower loop" - see the southern part of this map). The intermediate and advanced among us were told to do two laps of the circuit, but the beginners and runner/walkers only had to do one.
I made it around the lower loop, with a bit of jogging, a bit of fast walking, and a bit more jogging. The cold air was pretty tough to take at first - but then I got into it.
The coaches/mentors had invited us to come away from today's session having met at least 5 new people, but I found it hard to run and talk at the same time. I was not very conversational, cause I just wanted to concentrate on my jogging and try not to die or get hit by a cyclist, rickshaw or horse-drawn carriage. Honestly I was happy in my own little zone. I chatted to a couple of the girls and one of the coaches as they jogged up to meet me, then they slowed down - or I did - and we overtook each other again at intervals. It was fine.
I remember thinking that 1.7 miles was pretty long today - and yet the half-marathon itself is 13.1 miles. I have between now and March to get my butt in gear and build up some stamina. We have been given our training plan for December and apparently by the end of this month, I'm supposed to be doing 4-5 mile jogs in one session. Um, yeah. Okay. Today was only Day 1 though - in future jogs I will only get better. Maybe I should do the lower loop run by myself a couple of times? Hmm, probably.
Next week is a 9am meet-up, but we have some strength and cross training sessions between now and then. Let's do this thing. You will not beat me, Central Park.