Running with UGS and Athleta – Part 1
New York City has seen so much rain this past week that I thought I would need to start building an ark. (Bada-ching!) It rained so much that my first run with Urban Girl Squad and Athleta was postponed to this past Wednesday.
As much as I love running, sometimes it can be rough. That’s why I prefer to run with a buddy. A running buddy pushes you and tells you to keep going, especially when your legs and brain say you can’t. My usual running partner is Lisa from Early Morning Run, but this week I had over 65 women I could count on to keep me going. Did you read that? Over 65 women came out to run with UGS and Athleta. I’ve never felt like a solo runner in Central Park since there’s tons of foot traffic, but it was a totally different feeling knowing that the herd of women around me were there with me. These women were almost an extension of me and there’s great power in that. My stride was a bit longer, my chest was open, and my peacock feathers came out.
After a light stretch led by one of the Athleta coaches, the girls broke out into three groups: beginners, intermediate, and advanced. I admired the women who had the guts to call themselves “advanced.” Their physiques and auras just looked advanced 😉 I stuck with the intermediate group and ran around the Great Lawn four times. The Great Lawn is a very safe and familiar loop. No one can get lost. It’s about .55 miles and there’s an amazing Wafles & Dinges cart at the south entrance. Aside from a running partner, the smell of fresh waffles with surely get one moving faster.
Lean Girl Tip: When running, make sure you can maintain a conversation. Our Athleta coach said that if you can’t, you are probably pushing yourself too hard.
With that in mind, I chatted with a few ladies: Caitlin who is training for the Rock & Roll 10k, Rachel who just got married, Deirdre who had amazing beach-wavy hair and had just purchased a bright blue Leap Hoodie from Athleta, and MJ who is running the Bronx Half Marathon and the Diva Half Marathon. I met fun, health-minded women from all different backgrounds. It’s very rare to be surrounded by dozens of encouraging, friendly, non-threatening women. That’s another reason I love running. It breaks barriers. It literally washes away the makeup and the clothes that divide women. When you sweat together, pant together, and pound the pavement together, you realize everyone’s a human being.
The next run with UGS and Athleta is August 29. I can’t wait. While the next three runs are sold out, I heard a rumor that there will be more runs. So make sure to check out the UGS website for upcoming events. And just a warning, you will not leave the Athleta store empty handed. Everything in the store is super cute. Even though Athleta and UGS gave out gift bags, I still purchased a Sodha tank. 🙂
PS: I took a lot more photos, but somehow accidentally deleted them! #fail