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Friday 9 November 2012

There's a Reason I Shouldn't Be Allowed Out Unsupervised ...

I decided to make an effort and go to my own running club yesterday. Well, I say my own. It’s the Rugby club part of the Northampton & Rugby AC ... the one which is a couple of miles from my house and which I’ve never actually made it along to. I keep meaning to go but never actually seem to get there. Becca and Amy, my team-mates from the Cross Countries on Saturday mentioned they go along on Tuesdays and Thursdays and invited me along so I decided to pop along to run with them.

Fantastic for speed work

I finished work at 5pm in Northampton, dashed home along the M1 – thankfully un-queued – picked up the 3 year old - who promptly wee-ed in her car seat. Got home – changed the 3 year old, changed myself from work clothes into running gear, shovelled some yoghurt and seeds into my mouth and set off for the club.

Somehow I was on time.

Got to the gates of the club and there was a crowd of people in hi-viz gear, obviously about to go out for a run. Great! Had a chat to a couple of people who were there for the first time and who were looking to move from sprinting into longer distance running and they confirmed that this was the running group. Had a quick look around and didn’t seem Amy or Becca but they were a nice friendly group and I love running with other people. I do 99% of my training on my own so it’s a real treat to run with others.

We ran about a mile and a half through the town and to a park I’d never seen before. This is one of the great things about running – all the new routes and places you get to find. I LOVE being nosy.

The group leader pointed out where we were running: start from the red bin, over the bridge – avoiding the post – along the bottom road, back over the other bridge – avoiding the other post – up to the light on the corner and back along the top straight along to the red bin again. Apparently it was about 600 metres a lap and the plan was to do one lap at marathon pace, one lap at half-marathon pace and the third lap at 5k pace and to repeat this three times.

Finally! FINALLY! I have a pace for all distances! It always used to confuse me at track when people used to ask me to do things at certain paces (without giving a speed) when I hadn’t yet run that distance in a race. I never quite knew whether to run it at the time I thought I’d actually do it in or the time I’d like to do it in. Or whether just to run around like I knew what I was doing. Finally ... I have a speed for all 3 paces.

I did the first lap at about 8:30 minutes per mile, the second lap at 7:30 m/mile and the final lap at about 7:00 m/mile. My Garmin got a bit confused by the trees and the numbers kept jumping around – or maybe it was my poor pacing but I managed to keep at round about the right speeds for the laps. Everyone seemed to be doing different things, but I concentrated on what I was doing and kept going on round. I don’t know what it is about interval work, but even though I was going slower than 5k pace for two-thirds of the laps, it felt harder than a normal 5k done at my usual speed. Or maybe it’s just so long since I’ve raced 5k I’ve forgotten how hard they feel.

Anyhow, intervals always feel great when you’ve finished. I always end up with a proper Runners High and a big grin. Maybe it’s relief that I’ve finished but I always feel amazing afterwards.

We ran back to the club and did some stretches at the gates and decided what we were going to do next week. The consensus was to do something similar but include some hills on the laps. I said my goodbyes and looked towards the track ... and saw Becca – my team mate from Saturday!

Went down to have a chat and apparently Tuesdays are track work. I’d just joined a friendly – but completely random – group of people for a run. Whoops. Not sure I should be allowed out unsupervised ...!


  1. Brilliant Tuesday is my club day also :)

    1. We can suffer intervals at the same time then! ;)