Run Slut – if you’ve got trainers, I’ll run with you!

Actually that would be a good T shirt slogan.  So Ellie was busy with her Monday night shuttle to the Leicester Tigers. Her talented boys are clearly getting in the way of training; I hate how life does that.

Dark nights can sap my motivation and for once an unusual Monday working from home finally gave me a chance to get to Trent Bridge and the Sweatshop running group for 6pm. I’ve been meaning to for a while but it’s a push to get there in time from work. Now I’ve run with Sweatshop before down in super posh Teddington while I was on a training course last year. It seemed safest as I didn’t know the area and I had a couple of great runs through beautiful Bushey Park and some great ‘run chats’ too. Trent Bridge turned out to be more of a mixed experience than I’d imagined. I was there at 5.50pm as I don’t know the drill. A friendly face greeted me for signing in, I remembered the lady who works in the store and she clearly remembered my surname from orders I’ve collected. I was embarrassed to have just ‘rocked up’ in my kit as I know it’s free, but I couldn’t muster the £1 to park which I didn’t realise I needed. I even scurried back to the car to hunt out an ‘emergency pound’ but couldn’t even find one of those! I really thought she was going to ask me to move and go and find an on street space. It’s dark, it’s the ‘meadows’ (sounds nice to those not from Nottingham , trust me, it’s not). Blimey, it’s a quid, I’m new, slack please.

So I sat and watched as other runners arrived. Definitely more of an ‘eclectic’ group than HPP. I concentrated hard on looking new, looking approachable and ensuring I avoided ‘bitchy resting face’ at all costs. Don’t laugh, its a condition, I don’t think I’m afflicted (see important information video below)

It didn’t work, I stayed alone. A couple of large, loud ladies joined…very loud actually. Enthusiastic chaps, post work and full of weekend running exploits sat near me. No, I couldn’t catch an eye or grab an ‘in’ to the conversation….awkward.

We went outside for the briefing, why, it was bloody freezing, couldn’t we have done it inside ? Simple option, 3, 4 or 5 miles, pick a group…why 5 miles of course. So off we went, no chat, no hellos, just follow the group. We headed back towards my house, oh no, I was going to run my usual routes, I might as well have done that on my own. People chatted in front, people chatted behind, billy no mates just ran in the middle. Now in a race, it happens, who needs the distraction, but come on this is a club night, no one has seen my face before, where’s the runners camaraderie ?

The lady in front of me was fascinating, she had the most amazing things on her legs. She had the runners shorts and looked very good in them for another LCA like me, I’m not brave enough for them. But she wore these amazing black and white stripy things that were neither compression socks nor were they leg warmers. They had charms on them, must be Vivienne Westwood run wear (she looked wealthy somehow ???) Anyway they fascinated me for a good half mile before she split off with the shorter run group.

I knuckled in with the blokes at the front, that’s a good confidence boost for your running. I’m always in the slowest or second slowest group at HPP. By the last mile, I decided I was having a conversation or there really was no point rocking up, really I’m not that shy, so I collared the poor chap next to me. When he asked who I ran with and I said I was HPP he amused me with his ‘oh that lot’ response and comments about ‘that lot’ at races. Well in honour of ‘that lot’ I decided I was beating him in a sudden increase in pace back to the bridge and I’d like to say that ‘that lot’ were unbelievably welcoming when I first ran with them despite being terrified of risking a club and not being the total ‘run slut’ I am now. I got back and slipped back into my car without a second glance from my group. I said bye, but I don’t think anyone noticed.

Four more runs with Sweatshop and I get a T-shirt, hhmmmm…..need to think about that one. Sadly some of the lovely Facebook ladies run there but typically not on the night I went. My tri friend says I must have morphed into an intimidating pro looking runner ( I don’t think so, but I’ll take that as a compliment). Whether you’re a pro or not, being the new face on your own is never easy.

Ellie’s around next Monday.

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Categories: Ladies of a Certain Age Running (LCA), Runners Problems

Tags: , , ,

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