First, never apologize for "wasting" space on the message board! ALL questions are legitimate!
Second, congratulations on your accomplishments of stopping smoking and losing weight! I'll bet you feel great! Keep it up.
Third, congratulations on your goal of NY 2005! Excellent. I wish you well.
I'd do a search for running clubs in the New York Area. The Roadrunner Clubs of America have a list of member organizations. Once you've found a number of clubs, contact them and tell them your story. I'll bet that they would be very warm and welcoming. Perhaps they have training tips and schedules on their websites, and many have message boards like this.
I'm in Los Angeles, and don't know of any specific clubs in NY, but I know of many here and ALL are wonderful. Two of the biggest are the LA Roadrunners and LA Leggers. Both are Marathon training clubs, with the primary focus of training for the LA Marathon in March.
It's great to go to a new city and find a bunch of folks who have the same interests and goals as you.
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