Due to a combination of being out of the country, public holidays and the Belfast marathon tonight was my first night back at the club since April 17th and it felt good to be back, really good.
It was a warm night – 14º – so I decided to wear shorts, sensibly not bothering with my tights. This is still a bit of an experiment for me because I think the compression aspect of the tights helps keep my ever troublesome calves on the straight and narrow but I also want to see if I can cope without them.
As I said, it was good to be back. It was fantastic to chat with a fair few others and very nice of them to ask how I got on at the marathon.
Anyway, onto the run. I opted to go with the 45-minute group. Well, I say ‘group’ but there was only three of us plus Harry leading us. Myself and the other two came through the C25K programme recently so it was great to be amongst runners of a similar pace which helped with the slightly daunting aspect of being in such a small group. No chance to hide tonight!
Because it was such a warm night Harry told us from the start that if we wanted to stop or take a break then just say the word. But we didn’t. In fact, he remarked on a number of occasions that we were going at quite a pace for the 45s and stated that we could slow down if we wanted. We seemed to settle into a pattern of taking turns leading, then dropping back for a breather before taking point again further down the road.
It was nice and relaxed too, a really comfortable and enjoyable run.
Route wise we decided to head towards Ecos to do a portion of the local parkrun before heading towards the new footbridge to see if it was opened yet. It officially wasn’t but the barrier blocking access was conveniently moved to one side so we decided to explore, stopping for a group selfie halfway across. Were we the first group from Ballymena Runners to christen the new bridge?
On we went, incorporating a few sharp inclines into the run but not anything we couldn’t cope with and running along a few new paths (for me) alongside the river. It was an all-round lovely night.
After heading back to base I felt so good that I ran on home with the intention of bringing myself up to five miles for the evening. As I got closer to the end I noticed I was on course for a PB. I couldn’t remember exactly what time I had to beat but I had a rough idea so I decided to push on in the hope I’d do it.
But, bugger it, I missed it. I missed it by one second, a stupid second! Normally that’d annoy me but not tonight. I was very pleased with how I performed, particularly given my aversion to running in the heat.
All in all a successful night.