I blogged recently about how I’ve joined a running club. This has turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve made since I started on my health and fitness journey. I went to my first meet with them on Tuesday at a school track. It felt so weird going back to a school as it has been a long time since I last set foot in one.
I won’t say how long.
The group meets there every Tuesday for a track run. The track runs around a football pitch and the school team were training on the pitch. This just added to the feeling of being back at school! We spent about 45 minutes running around the track, while avoiding the occasional football player who crossed the track to either catch the ball or to move one piece of equipment or other.
I made the mistake of keeping up with the leaders for nearly three laps. I say mistake because I obviously hadn’t thought this through. They run a lot faster than I usually do. I tend to run a 12 minute mile and they were running about an 8 minute mile. As you can imagine this is a lot faster and takes more effort than I’m used to. As I rounded the halfway point of the 3rd lap I started to feel the pace and they began to edge further and further ahead of me. I then slowed to a pace I’m more used to. I still ran faster than normal, though. I managed to complete 3 miles on this track. Three miles running faster than I’m used to. I’m quite proud of that run! My legs were sore the next day, though!
Every Saturday the group has a fun run in a local Staten Island park. The park is Clove Lakes and as you can see from the photos, it’s beautiful. I usually run in Great Kills park, which is close to where we live. The fun run is a 3 miler. The course is a bit twisty and I was afraid of taking a wrong turn and heading in a completely wrong direction, so I concentrated on keeping up with a couple of runners ahead of me. We had to run one twisty circuit and then go round again. My legs were burning from the exertion of once again running faster than I am used to. Although this is not an official 5K race, we still have someone there with an official timer and I came to the finish with a time of 31:04. This put my running pace at just a fraction over a ten minute mile. That’s almost two minutes a mile faster than I usually run. I’m starting to realize how beneficial it is to belong to a running club. I tended to run a 12 minute mile because it’s more comfortable and an easier pace to maintain. The running club is starting to put me in a discomfort zone, and making me a faster runner in the process. The fact our local newspaper covers this group and published our names and running times the next day was a bit surreal. I haven’t run any races yet so this was my first experience of seeing my name and running time in print. It made me feel like a real runner.
These two weekly runs are going to be part of my weekly running routine from now on. I made the right choice and I obviously chose a good club. My fitness level is going to sky rocket now. The fact I’ve lost 25 lbs since March and I’m off diabetes medication through running means running is a huge part of my life now. There is no going back.
Because of the Chicago marathon I’ve seen no end of posts on Twitter and Facebook from people who ran the marathon. I have nothing but admiration for each and every one of them. Running 26.2 miles is a huge achievement, whatever their time. As for me, I have no plans currently to run a marathon. I can run 3 to 4 miles currently and then I’m burnt out so I can’t even fathom running a full marathon. But six months or so ago I couldn’t fathom running a mile so one thing I know right now is never say never to running a marathon. As I say, I have no plans to run one but who knows.
Maybe one day….