So I did it. I bit the bullet and did something I never imagined me doing. On Thursday night I rocked up in town to try out Manchester Front Runners (MFR) – a delightful running group based in the fair city of Manchester.
I knew that if I had any hope of not only taking part in long distance races, but actually completing them without dying, then I needed a plan. Since starting the New Year and washing away all signs of procrastination and laziness deep into the North Sea, I’ve been more active than I’ve been in a very long time – but I needed an insurance plan just in case. I thought that by joining a running group, not only would I get some good road runs into my training, but by committing to a group, I would be much more likely to maintain the pace.
Obviously I’d love to say that the pure satisfaction of running was going to get me out on those dark winter nights, but if I’m honest I knew that I needed the insurance just in case. When Thursday arrived I felt a bizarre sense of nervousness, which is frankly ridiculous considering I’m 27 and wouldn’t think twice about presenting to or running a workshop for 100+ area managers. But for some reason it felt like the first day at school, or like the sensation you get while waiting for your driving test results. I hadn’t put myself out there for ages. But the time had come to face up to the challenge and hit the streets of Manchester.
After I’d grown up and started acting like an actual adult, I had a great time. The group had loads of different runners:
– Fast ones & slow ones.
– Ones there racing & ones there socialising.
– Ones there from the start & ones that joined last week.
Whichever category they fitted into, they were all there to run.
A kind gentleman, that goes by the name of Nick, took me under his wing for the first session. “Please say if you want to up the pace, or take it a bit easier; equally say if you want me to shut up talking” he said after about 3 miles. My response whittled down to an apology for not talking for the previous mile – “please don’t think I’m being rude by not talking, I’m just concentrating on the breathing, before I start dealing with the talking”. Now I don’t want anyone to think we ran a marathon, or even a half marathon – we only covered 10km, but it was more the speed at which we covered these kilometres that completely took it out of me.
The first run proved that in order to attain my goal of becoming fitter, stronger, faster and more likely to complete each challenge, I needed to up my game. I’ve not quite decided what kind of year 2011 is going to be for me. Getting off my backside and trying new things with new people is definitely a good option at the minute. But I also like the idea of upping my game. You know you can do something, but you need that kick. You need that extra 10% push to get you there. Maybe 2011 will about the extra 10%.
Week one of year brought a new planned BMF schedule. Week two brought the running club. I’ve still got a tomorrow to work out my ‘up’ for week three, but I’m really enjoying the new lease of life I’ve got going this year.
Long may it continue.
Help for Heroes [21:21] Challenge