I recently talked about how anyone can become a runner. A couple of days later I took the plunge to run with a running group. I then found out… I might be a runner, but that doesn’t mean I am any good at it!
I started running on the treadmill mostly. It is convenient and the weather is generally pretty good. I then started venturing outside, mostly around lakes (nice and flat) or sticking to flat trails. As my runs have gotten longer, I have found it necessary to start road running. It is undulating to hilly where I live, so this has been a big step for me.
The thought of running 16 km (~10 miles) or more daunted me, so I looked up running groups. There were only two that I could find in the vicinity. One group meets at 6am on a Saturday and the minimum speed required to run with them is 10 km / hr. Needless to say, both put me off. The second group had a variety of distances and ‘catered for a variety of speeds’. And their runs start at 8.15am, a much more reasonable time.
I went along to the second group. And was the slowest, by quite a distance. Luckily, there was a bike rider with me, as the back of the pack. At one stage, one of the runners in front turned to ask the cyclist what distance I was doing. You should have seen the runner in front’s shoulders slump when she realised she was stuck with me! I finished the run. Pretty slowly. But I felt pretty hopeless by the end.
I went along to find some people to run with. In the end I ran by myself, at the end of a big group. It was not inspiring, to say the least. So I have gone back to my solo runs, though I would love a running buddy if I could find one. I have since ran (jogged slowly) a few runs between 18 and 19.4 km, so I am ready for the race. I just hope the post-run pancakes are still around by the time I meander over the finish line…!