Saturday, 5 May 2012

Puddle! Post! Pedestrian!

So, second week in and, apart from a pulled muscle in my collar bone (yes, I know you don’t need to say anything, only I could injure myself in such an obscure way), I’m feeling pretty good about myself.

This week the Green group saw themselves having to leave the relative safety of the park and run on the mean streets of St Albans. Across roads and everything - yes, it IS as scary as it sounds. Although I did feel for the Amber group who apparently had to do hill training on the Tuesday. Sorry guys, rather you than me.

Tuesday, we met the lovely Julie who will be our run leader for the Tuesday sessions going forward. As an ex ‘Get Started’ member herself, she detailed exactly what we would be doing in our session and instilled the group with confidence. More intervals – running for up to 5 minutes in total with one minute walks around Prospect Road, Cottonmill Lane, Holywell Hill, the Abbey and of course the obligatory lake circuit. The group found itself inadvertently playing a game of ‘Simon Says’ as we ran – bellowing all obstacles that would cross our paths. Starting with Julie, it would then echo its way down the group much to my amusement (they don’t call me Foghorn Leghorn for nothing). What the residents of St Albans would have made of us I don’t know, but definitely kept my mind off the fact I was running for 5 minutes straight. Mileage for that session was 2.65 miles.

Thursday was particularly tough for me. The flatmate was suffering from a nasty cold and had decided she wasn’t going to join me on the session so she wouldn’t exacerbate it. Along with the freezing, drizzly weather I must admit I was very tempted to ‘Bunk off’, stay in my nice warm house and watch rubbish television with her. But apparently you get runner’s guilt very quickly so I soon found myself shivering by the running track at 7pm with calls of ‘Blogger, you’re back’ from the other Striders. 

Abby was our run leader again, and apparently was still as evil as the week before, in the nicest possible way! This time, she got us up to a 6 minute run and up a very steep hill. Although I MAY have complained all the way throughout this run, Abby was fantastic at keeping us going and congratulating our efforts and hard work. We ran for 2.89 miles (so close to that elusive 3 miles.... maybe next week). I also managed to run my fastest mile, so in effect I can already run for faster and for longer, my recovery is already much better and it’s only my second week. Thank you so much Abby & Julie!

I can’t believe what I have achieved already and how quickly my stamina and endurance has built up with running. Of course, having a group of like-minded individuals helps, and the camaraderie is great. Whether you’re growling at each other over a particularly vicious hill (when I say growling, I mean the sound a dog would make rather than being horrible to each other), or encouraging other members who might be struggling that they CAN do this, having this kind of support is not something I would have expected would actually help so much. And what is really great is that there is no competitiveness. We’re all in this together.

The homework for this week is 5 min and 6 min runs with a hill. I think I’ve got my course mapped out and am planning on doing it Saturday morning with the flatmate. And if I think I won’t? That old runner’s guilt is there to chivvy me on. 

Jemma Western

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