I went along to running club for the first time yesterday. I'm torn between saying it was lots of fun and I did good, and that it was hell on earth and there ain't no way I'm doing that again. At least until next Thursday.
Firstly, there were about half a dozen other ladies, and I can confidently say that I was the youngest, and completely middling in running ability and general size in the group. Everyone ran at different paces - I wasn't the fastest or the slowest, and it was quite weird for me to be running a section, then stopping to stretch, or waiting for others to catch up. When we were stopped for a minute, I found myself restlessly pacing because I was scared that if I stood still that would be it and I would just seize up and grind to a halt.
The route was more testing than something I would have chosen to run as it featured some quite steep up and downhill sections, and I couldn't believe that I voluntarily found myself doing shuttle runs up and down a short gentle hill section, in public, without feeling really embarrassed or self-conscious. That was hard, doing the shuttle runs, knowing I was out at the furthest point on the run, and therefore still had to run back. Mark, our instructor was quite cunning as when we got to that section he told us what we were going to do, but not how many. The instructions were to put all the effort into running up the hill (a short distance of maybe 75 metres to a specific lamp post) and then to just really gently jog back down. So we did the first 2, and then he told us we were doing another 4. So 4 more we did. Then he said just to head back the way we'd come, didn't matter what speed, but to keep jogging rather than falling back to a walk, and he'd meet us back at base. I interpreted that as back at the gym, so traipsed all the way back in one long run. By the time I was near the end, it was a matter or pride to not walk so I just kept mechanically going along. There were 4 of us at the front of the group, and although we took slightly different routes back (2 sides round the square type scenario), we all arrived back more or less together. It was then about another 5 mins until the rest of the group got back. I was probably really annoying for that 5 mins as I was still pacing up and down, unwilling to just stop, although I did stretch.
Mark's heart rate monitor, said he'd been running for 56 mins, so adjust for the fact that we got back 5 mins before him (he was running with the slower runners) and we were out for about 50 mins. Obviously not all of that was running as there were a few breaks, and we were walking for 5 mins at the start as a warm up, so conservatively, I reckon I was running for about 35 mins or so. Maybe a little bit more. In that time we covered roughly 3.5 miles, which is about 5.6km for the metric folks.
Surprisingly I feel no after effects at all this morning, not even sore legs. I've said I'll meet them again next week for the Thursday run, which is going to be up on the hills proper, although we are driving and meeting up there, so we don't have to run all the way up there first! I'm quite looking forwards to running up on the open grassy trails of the hills.
So yesterday, in summary:
- Points eaten 20.5 with 2.5 saved. I had quite a points heavy lunch which didn't leave much left for the evening, but I made lovely home-made soup again which I had for dinner. Also means I've got another bowl for lunch today which is yummy and low points.
- Fluids - enough for the now familiar smiley face.
- Exercise - running, and probably more of it than I ever thought I'd be able to do.
Now we're on Friday, and this is where it all starts to go horribly wrong. I've had my usual healthy breakfast of cereal with skimmed milk, and a glass of orange juice. I've just inhaled a cereal bar as I'm starving, and I've got healthy soup and a yoghurt for early lunch. My bike's packed in the car with my kit, and I'm going to head over the Forest of Dean when I finish work at lunchtime and brave some singletrack on my own. I don't know whether I'll do one lap, or 2, or chicken out and just go for a cardio work out on the family trail. I guess it depends on the weather, how much time I've got when I get there, and how busy the singletrack trails looking. But I'm hoping to do one circuit of the singletrack minimum which should take about 40 mins if my last performance there is anything to go by (it's a 3.7 mile circuit, but very technical and with some vicious climbs in it).
From there the plan is to grab a shower at the bike centre (assuming the visitor's showers are open!) and then change quickly back in to my normal clothes and head down to the Cotswolds to meet the girls from my old work for dinner. Dinner will be a challenge as I've seen the menu and it pretty much all look really good, or evilly bad, depending on which way you look at it. After that I shall head home, grab a good night's sleep and then I'll be up bright and early to head off to the wedding tomorrow via Jo and Lissa's house to dump my car and overnight bag there for tomorrow night. I'm going to leave my bike in the car, and shove in some clean kit, and I'm hoping to ride out for a bit in the Wyre Forest on Sunday, to kill off a bit of tomorrow's excesses.
That's the plan anyway. God knows how it will pan out! I shall report in on Sunday with a full account.