On Thursday night, for the first time in my life, I decided to try running with a running club.
I’ve been a member at a gym, so I’ve run around other people. I ran in the Lutterworth Santa Fun Run last year, so I’ve run with other people. But I’ve never run as part of a group who are all trying to achieve the same goal before.
I was nervous, if truth be told. And I’m glad Tracey was there so I wasn’t totally surrounded by strangers.
But it was brilliant. The furthest I’ve ventured on my own so far was about 5 miles, and even then there was quite a lot of walking involved. On Thursday night with the Huncote Harriers running club, we covered over 7 miles. There was a little recovery time allowed, it wasn’t flat out, but being part of a group meant that I was compelled to keep up. The other runners would encourage me, tell me I could do it, and that I should press on. And so I did.
I’ve definitely been achier than usual after the run, but nothing major. It’s an ache I remember from the earlier days of running which means I’m pushing myself again, and that’s great. It’s very easy to coast when running on your own. That’s not to say running on your own is pointless, or that you’ll always coast; I came this far (mostly) on my own. But it’s easy to let the fire of ambition fizzle out once a preconceived goal has been hit. It’s an effort to single handedly keep that fire burning. And with a few other people out there with you, you don’t want to let the fire go out.
I intend to run with the Harriers again. They were welcoming, friendly, and made me achieve something I thought was months away. I’m hoping they’re a piece of the puzzle that is this year’s fitness goal.
If you’ve thought about joining a running club, go for it. Maybe you’re not even at that point and you’re thinking you should join a gym, or just start a couch to 5K program. Whatever steps you’re thinking of taking but haven’t yet achieved, I urge you to go for it. In a future post I’ll explain why, if I was able to get to this point, you almost certainly can too.