Last year, if you would have asked me if I would go running in a group, I would have finished the pizza I was housing and would have given you a resounding “no”.
A lot has changed since last year (not the pizza eating though) and I am now always excited to run with friends, family or complete strangers. Having the company and the accountability during runs is so enjoyable and makes the miles fly by.
I was so excited when City Fit Girls announced they were having a pop up run in DC. I had been stalking them on Instagram for awhile and was always jealous of their community. Since they are located in Philadelphia, I never thought I’d have the opportunity to run with them, so when I saw the Instagram announcement, I immediately marked my calendar and started counting down the days.
A little about City Fit Girls (CFG)
CFG was founded in 2013 by Kiera Smalls and Takia McClendon, two amazing women who have gained a large fitness following, and for good reason! They are fun, inspiring and have created an awesome resource for all levels of race training. I’ve been using their 12 week half marathon training for the Rock N Roll DC and am feeling ready to go! You can receive the training schedules and other great tips if you sign up for their newsletter.
We met outside the Smithsonian metro and had a round of introductions. Our little group was amazing– women from all different running experience levels, training for a variety of races but all here for 1 reason: to run.
There were a few rules:
No running through red lights
No headphones (love this one!)
I was down with all the rules but am going to see if I can make an appeal for the “no dogs” rule:-)
We were also encouraged to run with people we didn’t know and make new friends which was easy, because I came with no friends (sad!). Classic Sunnie.
After the logistics were done, we set off on an iconic 3 mile run on The Mall.
The “no running through red lights” rule came to bite us in the butt as we got stuck at a never ending red light in front of the Washington memorial…but there are definitely worse places to get stuck. It also gave me a chance to chat it up with some fun ladies and get to know my running buddies. We chatted about work and about how I shared a 1 bedroom apartment with 3 roommates AND Steven… that story is always a crowd pleaser (or people are just horrified). Ah to be 24 again.
We cruised from the Smithsonian, around the Lincoln and back toward the capital. This is one of my favorite runs normally, but was even better with such a motivating group of women.
Like I mentioned earlier, I am loving running with people but I wanted to know what Kiera, one of the founders of CFG, thought were the best benefits that come from running with this specific group of women.
Here’s what she told me:
- A positive, safe environment for women of all fitness levels.
- An opportunity to meet new friends and inspire current ones.
- A chance to develop as a runner with women who share common interests and fitness goals.
- An opportunity to test products and receive discounts from brands.