So, for a few years now I have been going to the local Sweatshop for a run every week, and I really enjoy them. I have met some great friends there, learnt about local races, run with my brother and speed myself up.
I really love running on my own- it is a great stress reliever and some time for me to think. But I have also really found benefits from running in a group. A while ago I was contacted by someone who used to run with Sweatshop, about joining her running club.
The trial went well, and so I have been going fairly regularly (minus when I had my cough) for a few months now.
I even got my vest today! So excited about this!
I went there Tuesday night. Sometimes we run in a group, and sometimes in pairs, but this week I was a bit on my own- we did a loop and every now and then the front runners looped back- I couldn’t quite keep up with them, but I was a bit ahead of the next lot, so I was running on my own, and it got me thinking about how my running has changed over the last few years. When I first started running, I ran by myself, with music to over the sound of my breathing. In my first half marathon (I ran most of it with my brother) I kept headphones in one ear with music playing quietly to keep the sound of my breathing out- I would never do that now! Running with SRC helped to wean me off headphones- I felt it was a bit rude to run with people but with headphones in, and I knew that I struggled in races a bit to run without music, so tried those runs without. As I run there and back I decided to do that without headphones either, and to my surprise it was fine!
With my dad suggesting I give parkrun a go (and me totally loving it), over a few years I have moved from 3 runs by myself per week, always listening to music, to one parkrun (either with my dad and brother, or by myself but no headphones ever), a club run, again, never any headphones here, an SRC run chatting with running buddies, and then one long run by myself with my podcasts for company.
I suppose it turns out that I love the motion of running, and being in the fresh air, and the feeling of accomplishment, and if I run with other people, that love is shared with them somehow. I am not ready to give up my long lonesome runs (and I think mentally, I need that time alone for myself, and to prepare for races) but I have really been enjoying where running has taken me at the moment.
I bought the club vest a few weeks ago and one of the lovely ladies posted it through my door today, and the first thing I did was try it on!
Yup, I can’t take a good selfie, but you get the idea! So excited!!
It even has this detail on the back! Totally love it!
Last night the run ended up being just shy of 5 miles, and in the final mile I was really feeling it. My poor legs were getting stiff after those 15 miles. My cold seemed to get worse, and I found the air really cold to breathe. Today I have been coughing a lot again (a child did cough in my face on Friday, a perk of the job…), I got home late and with an awful headache so I gave Sweatshop a miss. I was meant to be doing 8 miles, so the plan was to leave early, do 3 miles on my own, then run with them, and run home, and hope it was about right, but it is not a good idea. I don’t want to make myself more ill and then have to take more time off. Tomorrow I am booked onto pump, so at least that is inside. I won’t reach my Jantastic target this week, but there is always next week (and a joker).
Do you prefer group activities or being solitary?
Any thoughts on this? My feelings after my last marathon were that I needed to do another 20 mile run, as I only did one, which went fine, but then I really struggled in the actual race. I think I need to learn what food suits me to eat while I am running, and I can really only practise that on very long runs. The plan I looked at suggested a shorter harder run on Saturday (which is why I usually do parkruns) and then a longer run on Sunday when you are a bit tired from the day before. I suppose doing a medium run on Saturday (e.g. 8 miles) and a longer one of under 3 hours (under 16 miles I think for me) might help replicate the tired legs a bit more? I did find I was totally shattered on Sunday, and that is only going to get worse as the runs get longer.
If you have trained for a marathon, what have your longest runs been (hours and miles)?