Tonight, my friend Rob and I joined the Young Involved Philadelphia (YIP) Running Club on their monthly run. The first Tuesday of each month, the group runs to a place of interest in Philadelphia, takes a tour/learns something/etc, and then goes to a bar for some drinks. It’s a pretty awesome concept. I ran with them one other time, when we did a tour of the Reading Viaduct, which is going to be turned into a park. It was *super awesome*. (I posted a bit about it here and put pictures here.)
This month, the first Tuesday falls during Philly Beer Week, so the run was organized to end at Yards Brewery (my favorite!), where you could take a tour, and we got our first beer for free! I had to babysit until 6pm, so I went home quickly and took a quick 1.2ish mile run over to Philly Runner, where the runs start. I am normally a 10+ min/mile, and I was booking it a little to get over to the store in time. Rob and I had decided to do the longer run (they usually have a 3 mile route and a 5 mile route.)
In this case, the 5 mile route were the super duper fast runners. Our route went up 16th St to Race, down Race to 5th, across the Ben Franklin Bridge and back, up to Spring Garden, and then over to the brewery. I am generally really good at pacing myself, and I knew immediately that I’d have to slow down. But I did get caught up with them at the beginning – and I also hit every single light going down Race St. I fell behind on Race, which was fine. I was seriously struggling trying to keep pace, and when I finally hit the bridge, I slowed down A LOT going up the first part. I had already decided to only run up half of the bridge, and then back down. I was able to pick up the pace coming back down, waited for the group to come back, and then ran to the brewery at a pretty good pace. As you can see, my splits were ALL OVER THE PLACE. But, overall, it was a really successful run in really humid weather, and I’m really happy with my overall pace considering how much I felt like I was struggling.
When I rolled into Yards, I had maybe the reddest face that I’ve ever had before. I seriously should have taken a picture. I ordered a Yards Saison, chatted with a few people, and then Rob and I started walking back home (another 2+ miles). Everyone that does the YIP runs are super friendly, and the crowd definitely overlaps with some of the other running groups in the city, so you will likely see some friendly faces if you frequent other group runs. Also worth noting is that a lot of people go by themselves, so everyone is chatty and not cliquey.