Running with a group
Last night I met up with local running group for the first time. I have resisted running in a group before because I a) enjoyed running alone b) didn't feel I had the time to travel to a meeting point and c) felt I was too slow.. After Chicago I changed my mind. I know I've gone on and on about it but it truly was an amazing experience and it has left me hungry for more. Don't get me wrong - even at 8 months pregnant Paula Radcliffe need not worry that I'm snapping at her heels - but having run so much better than I had thought I could in Chicago, I now wonder whether I really could do even better with some help from other people. Also - much as I love my own company, running with others once a week is beginning to seem quite attractive to me. At least I can talk about running equipment, races, gadgets, podcasts etc. without boring the pants off of my audience, which is what happens to "regular" friends - and I don't blame them for being bored. The stuff I like to talk about to other runners and on running websites basically puts me on a par with trainspotters and car enthusiasts - the intense focus on a single interest is quite creepy and suspect. So - enough self-justification I think.
It was great! We met at a local sports centre and everyone was really friendly. We went out for about 6 miles and did some fairly painful speedwork in the middle. Towards the end one of the guys really goaded me into running much faster than I intended to which was exactly the sort of challenge I was looking for. He also told me about all the races they run and the thought of doing some cross country this winter is actually really appealing. So I'm going to stick with it. They meet twice a week which seems pretty unworkable to me - I'll make one a week I think.
So on I go - into the Christmas season. Just been out for half an hour which was quite a struggle. It never ceases to amaze me that some days I can go out for 2 hours very happily, and the next day 15 minutes will seem impossible.. However, it seems criminal not to run at the moment as the weather is lovely and the farmland round here is just so beautiful. In fact, if I remember, I'll take my camera out with me tomorrow so I can show you what I see when I run.
Keep on running...