Running was my program warm-up when I played badminton and cricket, running was never my focus. I suffered an injury that did not allow me to play racket sports any longer and running became my sport of choice.
My connection with the Pentagon Row group started at an event Pacers had with Saucony. I was looking for a social group to be active with and I lived near the former Pacers Pentagon Row location. I saw runners gathering together and decided to joined them. My first time running with the group turned out to be a relay around the Pentagon City Mall and it was the fastest I had ever run in my life. I thought I was dying and decided never to come back.
Two days later, I thought, let me try again, and I never stopped coming. The former run leader pulled me in to help lead the group and I recall thinking, “I don’t know what I am signing up for, but ok.” Four years passed and I did not miss a single run.
Our group runs Tuesday and Thursday evenings and one weekend morning. If there is a race in town we schedule our weekend long run for the other day of the weekend. We are out at all of the big local races at our cheer station supporting the running community and our fellow fun runners.
All of our runs start at Shake Shack in Pentagon Row; as soon as Shake Shack opened it’s doors in the neighborhood they welcomed us in. The Pentagon Row group has a mix of different types of runners. We attract people just getting into running, as well as more experienced runners. People who start running with us seem to stick with us for a long time.
There are days when I need my own run and the Lincoln Memorial is my peace place. From my apartment it is out and back 5 miles, making it an ideal distance. The people watching is fun there too. You could wake me up at 3am and I would run to the Lincoln Memorial, no question.
My favorite workout is running up hill and a lot of runners in run club hate me for that preference. Running up hill helps build strength and confidence, you know you ran that hill and know next time you can do it again. A ten miler is my favorite race distance because I don’t really have to train for it. I have run 3 marathons and I am not a fan of the all of the training needed to run that distance.
All of my vacation time is spent going out to run races. Many vacations have been spent running on 200 mile team relay races. I have been a part of Elyse’s relays teams and we have covered most of the East Coast running together. My next plan is to commit to a race or two in New Zealand and visit my sister who lives there.
The group is not just about running, it is social group and you connect to people on a personal level. People I have met through run club have become my best friends and a few of them even know my dark secrets! I live away from my family, they are still in India, and the run group filled in a gap for me. Through the run group I have met all of my friends in Arlington, well, that and my dog. That’s how it goes.