Tonight was Week One, Day One of the Ballymena Runners Cosy Sofa to 5k programme for the Ballee area.
I don’t really know what I was expecting but I wasn’t expecting over 50 people to turn up.
The carpark was bunged and they even had people directing traffic to park on the hard shoulder. Apparently this is the third such programme they’ve had this year in various different parts of the town and tonight has been the biggest night so far.
Clearly there’ll be drop outs as the weeks progress but hopefully numbers will be kept at a decent level which will be a big help and motivating factor.
I noticed a few faces I knew, including the bloke who I always try to beat (and I have) at parkrun so at least I knew I wouldn’t be the slowest.
A few people were chatting beforehand about having done something like this on their own before and I offered up my own experience, but I neglected to mention little things like having done the London Marathon and so on!
After a brief introductory talk, they split us into three different groups, randomly chosen, and off we went.
I found the pace very frustrating to begin with and got caught in traffic at the start but once I spotted a gap I upped the tempo, reverted to my normal speed and moved to the front of the group – and stayed there until the end, although I made sure to not get too far ahead of everyone else.
I know it wasn’t a race but I wanted to push myself a little bit and, to be honest, it felt good to be the first person back out of the three groups. That’ll obviously not always be the case but, to hell with it, small victories and all that.
I’ll do the plan again either tomorrow or Thursday, then make a decision about parkrun on Saturday morning which they encouraged everyone to do. I’m considering asking someone to pace me round the course to achieve a time I’d be happy with – but we’ll see about that.