Wednesday, 20 October 2010

An Ashtead Running Group virgin

Well last night I went for my first run with the Ashtead Running Group. Very nice people but mother-of-crap that hurt!! I think I've realised just how much of a slacker I can be when I run (or not) on my own.

Typically, the night I want to go out is the day I get held up at work and by the time i got home, I had approximately 4 minutes to get changed and out of the house to get to the pub where everyone meets. I made it. Just. Only after I ran. Which just caused more pain later I reckon.

After standing around in the cold for a few minutes with the others, someone stated that the medium group would be doing a particular route. I saw it. 10.77km. That was pushing the boundaries of my max distance over the last few months but after finding out my Ashtead 10k time, they all said the medium group was best so off I went, part of a group of 4.

The starting pace was pretty quick and I really had to concentrate on not falling behind but eventually, I settled in to it OK. Someone then mentioned that if we headed in to Epsom first and then continued, we could make it a little longer. OK I said while I silently wept inside.

Then came Chalk Lane hill.... That would be the bit between 3-5km on the elevation chart below then. There are a couple of things in my favour here. Firstly, I'd never seen this hill before so was only going on reputation and secondly, it was pitch black with tree cover, no street lighting and everything was done by the light of 2 head torches. That meant I couldn't see the top, the incline or my own feet. I think this helped a lot! We all made it up without walking although it was touch-and-go near the top for me but once there, we walked a little bit to get our breathe back. I'm not sure if they usually stop or whether they were just being kind but thank you anyway!

Some further decline and inclines followed and the pace was generally dependant on the the terrain but I pushed on and eventually finished the 10.92km route in 1:02:38. Hang on! This really doesn't do it justice. It works out at 5:45 min/km which is a lot slower than the 10k I did on Saturday! That was 5:15 min/km but without doubt, last night's run was the better and harder workout and much better for my long-term training. For the first time in a long time, my muscles were screaming at me by the time I got home and still ache a little this morning. I think that means I've pushed a little!

Eatingtrees recently mentioned that he had a goal of running the 10k in under 55 mins. I think he could do a lot worse than meet up with a running group, run with people who are all fitter and faster, along a route he doesn't know and therefore could get lost and left on his own. It certainly ups the motivation to keep the pace up! I'm looking forward to returning next week but this time with a head torch and something to eat! I've seriously over-estimated my own fitness level and now I need to up my game!


  1. Works wonders for personal motivation doesn't it, that cocktail of stubbornness and competitiveness ;)

  2. Not quite as much as the fear of getting lost and stuck at the top of a big hill in pitch black darkness!

  3. Excellent running and a good reminder that it is fun to run ( well sort of) in a group

  4. Congratulations! I joined local athletics club recently for a track session and my heart was pounding all night with exhilaration and exhaustion. Haven't made it back as I ended up over-training and I'm not fit enough to go on their road runs which are about 8 min mile pace! Well done.

  5. Congratulations on your first run with the Ashtead Running Group.

  6. Running with a group on weekends is a great, but it can be intimidating too, especially as one gets older. In our running group we know who is fast and who isn't so we run with those who run at the same pace. This can be good and bad as sometimes we don't push ourselves because we can't keep up with the gazelles. The nice thing is that the speedy ones always hang around and wait for us at the finish. That way everyone gets to know everyone else.

  7. well done for going (and wanting to go back). Enjoy running in the pack!