So we came back for more. Tuesday night, sun setting, and Green Team assembling by the club house sporting a variety of fluorescent kit. Longer intervals this week, but that wasn’t the main difference. There were other comfort zones to break out of.
On reflection, having spent week 1 jogging round the lake, I see that the park gives a lovely sense of security. It’s quiet, it’s sheltered, and most of the time it’s flat. But Get Started is about more than running in big circles with only ducks for company, so prompted by earlier sunsets and the descending darkness, week 2 saw the new Striders striding out into wider St Albans.
It’s now becoming clear that this course is about more than putting one foot in front of the other at a reasonable pace. It’s about running while negotiating the real world in all its glory, and in St Albans this means, in no particular order, cobbles, hills, headwinds, traffic lights, hills, other people, hills, wheelie bins and cars. Oh, and hills.
And that’s where the real benefit of running in a group starts to pay off, as we shout back and forth about the upcoming hazards, and encourage each other up Abbey Mill Lane and Mount Pleasant.
Turns out that for all the pain, anguish, heavy breathing caused by running up a slope, there is a tremendous sense of speed (and achievement) to be gained from trotting down Holywell Hill back towards the park. (For now we’ll ignore the teenagers effortlessly going in the other direction.....give us time.)
No doubt there will be more comfort zones that will be shattered along the way, but so far so good. Wonder where next week will take us?