Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Born to Run

I'm feeling fab this evening. This morning I did 4 miles on the treadmill. A nice steady run, bang on schedule.

But that wasn't enough for me, today was a day for running. Over the weekend I saw a message on the Runners World website about a running group in the part of Leeds where I live. I couldn't resist emailing and getting details. A group of women who aren't too fast and run about 3 miles on a Tuesday night? Sounds perfect.

The only snag was that they start quite early. While I can understand that because they'd get hungry if they only went out later and then ate after, it meant that my only hope of catching them would be to get out of work on time and hope the bus got me home quickly, then throw on my running gear and run down to the meet up point. If I'd been certain of getting back I'd have skipped the run this morning, but I wasn't sure so I decided to get the run in and then see how I felt later and what time I got out of work.

So, I got out at 5 (after getting my holiday form signed off, of which more later), got home, got changed and felt good. I ran the mile to the pub where we were meeting, and met up with them. They all seem really nice, mainly roughly my age, chatty and easy to talk to. Then we set off for what I'd been told was a 3 mile/30 minute run. I'd been hoping they'd take it fairly easy with having already got 5 miles under my belt for the day by that stage, but to my shock they were all running SLOWER than my legs felt like going!

I was running at the front (with someone who knew the route), and we were opening up a big gap on the rest of the group (there were about 6 of us). We got to the point where we cross the road, stopped and waited for the others to catch up. We ran up another road, someone different with me at the front this time, and she's getting out of breath complaining about hills. I'm thinking, you call this a hill?! Again, we open up a gap, she's starting to struggle and I offer to SLOW DOWN for her. We slow a bit (from what was already a fairly slow pace by my standards), and again wait at a cross roads for other people to catch up. We make it back to the pub, and she says that she really felt it today.

We stand around discussing races for a while. One of them says she did a race in November. I ask whether it was the Abbey Dash (10k - the one I did). She looks at me in horror and says it was the Barnardos run. I ask whether she means the 5 mile. She still looks horrified and says she did the 5k. Ah. There's some debate about whether to sign up for the next Barnardos run, but again it's the 5k that's tempting them all.

After a bit of chatting (complete with my encyclopaedic knowledge of races they could sign up for), we split up.

I run the mile home.

(I later plot the route and find out we only did 2 miles on the group run, with an extra mile there and back for me. They think they're doing 3, but that's not what my map says!)

This made a few things clear to me. I can run. Not only can I run, but I can run fairly well. I'm fit, and I can do this. I can meet up with a group of people who run and outrun them. I can be told by someone I've never met before that "I look like a natural". I can run.

This being the half marathon, of course, but also Berlin.

Today I booked the day after the race off work. I've not told anyone at work why I want the day off (well, I've said I'm going to Berlin, but not what I'm planning to do there), but I've got it written down on a bit of paper to commit me.

I'm going to do it. I worry about taking things too fast, but it's 7 whole months away. That's hardly a rush is it? I'm fitter than I've ever been, and I'm in the right place to attempt this. What if I don't do it and the opportunity never comes up again? I'm going to seize the moment, and I'm going to enjoy it.

The flights should be booked by this time next week, and I've even set up a separate training blog.

3 Comments:

Blogger JustJunebug said...

awwwww dont be too hard on them! some of us cant run 10 miles at one time just yet ;O)

8:26 PM  
Blogger K said...

Yeah, some of us have short legs ;)

I'll be reading your Berlinathon blog though, even if I'm not exactly marathon material myself (yet or probably ever).

11:19 AM  
Blogger bdesantiago said...

Good for you! I agree with K, I am not really marathon material but everytime I notice someone at gym running for a while, not looking like they are about to pass out, it reminds me of you. I am glad that you are proud of your accomplishments!

2:53 PM  

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