Golly no, not like that! Those days are over!
Yesterday, I plucked up my courage and joined my local running club for the first time. I’ve been meaning to go for the past three weeks but I was sidelined with illness the first week and then a dreadful car crash shut the roads last week. But last night, I made it.
I’d been in contact with the organiser via email and he’d warned me that last night would be a 10k time trial; he sent me the route so I wouldn’t get lost. Luckily I knew the route, it’s part of my long run, but I’d never run it in darkness, so I tested out my darkness running skills on Wednesday night. I ran all the time in the dark in Foster City, I’d even blogged about how much I loved it. How different could it be?
Heck it was dark.
It was a bit terrifying and my light, which seemed so bright in the utility room, was basically just a flickering candle.So I was a little nervous on many fronts when I joined the Marlborough Running Club at the leisure centre. I was nervous about joining a group, nervous that I’d end up running alone in the dark for an hour whilst everyone sped off, worried I’d need a mid-run-poo…you name it, I was a bit worried about it.
There was no need to worry – people were really friendly and I got chatting to a lovely girl immediately; she put my mind at rest and we agreed we’d run together. I knew the route, she had a good headtorch, we both said we ran about 10 minute miles…that basically made us a team. About 15 people (including two other newcomers, both women) jogged down to the start, there was a count-down and we were off.
It was very different running in the dark with a friend and a headtorch than by myself with a pathetic excuse for a bike light. It was lovely. We set off at a good clip but didn’t glance at our watches at all as we ran through the villages. The route is solidly undulating – between every village is a hill you go up and then down – but my new friend and I were chatting loads and we were feeling great. We got to the half-way point quite easily and turned back towards Marlborough. I mentioned that I felt like we were flying and she replied we were doing under 9-minute miles! Result.
Things got tougher on the way back but we kept pushing hard. It was lovely having someone to run with to stop me slacking off; we were both keeping each other going. Conversations stopped uphill and resumed downhill, and finally we were pelting through the final village to where the timekeeper was waiting at the end. We stopped our watches at 55 minutes, which was an 8.59 pace. I haven’t run that hard for months! We were both shattered but triumphant. The guys who cheered us into the finish said they’d heard us chatting every time we’d been passed and as we came in to the end.
I came home buzzing. Partly because I was really pleased with the time and effort we’d done but also because it was so flipping nice to meet other local runners, to feel welcome and especially to make a running friend. In these early days of relocating, any act of kindness and welcome is so gratefully received. I immediately emailed the organiser and asked how I could formally join the club. I also bought myself a headtorch with ALL THE LUMENS!
Can’t wait for next Wednesday!
(This post suffers badly from a lack of photos but I didn’t want to look like the weirdo who took photos of strangers!)