‘Affiliated’ …..sounds good, just took 5 years

So I did the deed, joined the groovy gang, took the advice of two years worth of Womens’ Running magazine and finally took the plunge and joined Holme Pierpoint Running Club. It’s over a month since I risked all and tried it out, Ellie wasn’t convinced despite my positive protestations and we’ve happily been back to our Monday running, the mighty duo pushing up to a couple of 10 milers. But it happened again, Ellie wasn’t free, what should I do ? In the weeks that had elapsed since running with HPP, my mind was telling me, the club was too fast, I had struggled to keep up, god forbid I had pushed myself too hard ! Why do our thoughts do that to us? There’s so many times that little voice needs to just shut up. Thank goodness for my blog, I actually re-read what I had said after my first running club experience…..no competition, do it again!

It was a bit of a hot, humid one…..I took a drink, hoping they wouldn’t frown upon such weakness. I felt like the ‘walking ladies’ I laugh at so much , trainers, lycra gear and water bottles in hand for a walk round the block……no doubt moaning as to why the weight never drops off? The heat certainly hadn’t put anyone off, I saw the familiar face of the very lovely lady I’d run with last time and who’s name I couldn’t for the life of me remember. Just one familiar face made the whole ‘walking in’ scenario that we ladies hate so much seem better (actually, I’m sure guys feel the same).

I opted to stay with the slower group, I still feared the running pedigree of the more ‘gazelle-like’ ladies and me and my Garmin were still stuck in the land of kilometres, not all this ‘mile’ language the club uses. I just don’t know what sort of minute miler I am? out we went for a great 5 miles, along the river as always but exploring parts of the tow path that were new to me and a few nooks and crannies I would never had known about or run alone. Towards the end myself accompanied by a very nice gentleman pushed ahead of the group as I got more used to the heat and the pace.

That’s a new one for me, running with chaps. Sounds silly but in 5 years of running, apart from my husband’s valiant effort on holiday this year, I run solo or with other LCAs. It’s nice to know that men can run and natter too, that not all men are of Olympic running standards, that men have similar running goals and issues…..although clearly they don’t get the female issue of running in shorts and the whole female psychology around the HUGE issue of to wear or not to wear them…….which was actually highly amusing. Ladies we could learn something here, it’s a simple decision; if it’s hot, you wear shorts, if not, don’t!  I don’t think the following issues crossed Trevor (67) or Mark’s (49) mind before rocking up on Monday in their running shorts:

  • Will my legs look shorter? 
  • Will my legs look fatter?….do the cycling shorts style make my knees look fat?
  • Does my bum look big in these?
  • Are my legs too pale?
  • Did I shave / wax / de-fuzz my legs recently enough?
  • Will my legs wobble in an offensive manner as I run?
  • Will my thighs rub together, both visually unpleasant and uncomfortable for several days after 

(NB: I didn’t wear shorts and clearly need to get a grip)

There’s a great buzz as all the groups return from different directions, same distance. I was clearly told I could run with a quicker group so I can really see myself improving. Of course I might bottle under the pressure of going out with another group next time. That little voice is already whispering to me ‘you’ll slow them down’, ‘someone will have to wait for you’, ‘you’ll have a heart attack’…….There was an added bonus to the collective stretching session at the end, a lady overheard my translation plight and without the need to come home and hit You Tube which was my plan, she switched my Garmin settings over to miles. I’m getting into the lingo, I think I’m a 9 minute miler (nothing for Mo Farah to worry about there then!)

Nevertheless, I came straight home and joined up…..£26 for a year, genuinely a bargain. Just the same as one race entry and lets not even compare it to what I pay David Lloyd per month! Next mission, get Ellie down there or my Monday nights will be torn…I have a plan.

So I am affiliated, somewhere I will sit on an England Athletics database. I feel ‘officially’ a runner….do I get a badge? 


Categories: Ladies of a Certain Age Running (LCA)

Tags: , , ,

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