|My beloved Lakeshore Running Trail|
Friday night I had the chance to utter words I’ve being wanting to say for years: “I’m meeting my running group in the morning.”
On Saturday morning I had my first meeting with the Birmingham chapter of Black Girls RUN!:
In 2009, Toni Carey and Ashley Hicks created Black Girls RUN! in an effort to tackle the growing obesity epidemic in the African-American community and provide encouragement and resources to both new and veteran runners. The mission of Black Girls RUN! is to encourage African-American women to make fitness and healthy living a priority. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 80% of African-American women are overweight. BGR! wants to create a movement to lower that percentage and subsequently, lower the number of women with chronic diseases associated with an unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle.
Saturday we met at the Lakeshore Running Trail, which, if you follow me on Foursquare, you know is one of my favorite places on the planet.
Despite my love for being active, I’ve never been much of a runner. This is an activity I really only picked up when I moved back to Birmingham and I’ve never really felt like I knew what I was doing. I’m a self-conscious runner, certain that the star athletes on the trail are looking at my stride and thinking, “WTF?”
But after just one meeting with Black Girls RUN of Birmingham, my confidence as a runner has improved. One of the organizers of the group worked with me one-on-one, reminding me to bend my knees more when I run, to relax my arms a bit, and she taught me how to run up and down hills.
Running with her was a challenge. My running partner is usually my pink iPod Nano and with it I typically walk for one song, run for one song, repeat. But on Saturday we ran for three minutes and only walked for one. I worried I wouldn’t be able to keep going with such a brief recovery time. But I was wrong. I did it! AND when I left the trail I went to Zumba. AND the next day, despite my aching muscles, I went to a Grand Jete class (which is somewhat similar to that Pure Barre torture chamber I wrote about last week).