For the third week in a row I elected to go with the 30 minute group with the club. I had thought about the 45s but there were a number of reasons for sticking with the 30s.
A lot of my normal running companions – usually 45ers themselves – decided half-an-hour would be enough tonight given the heat (22°C/71.6°F) so I wanted to be surrounded by those I was most familiar with just in case I was going to have a bad night.
Second, it was bloody warm and I knew by looking at those going out with the 45s I would struggle to stay with some of them. On a colder night, yes, but not tonight.
Also, I wanted to do an hour tonight, so I figured that if I went with the 30s they could ‘pace’ me to the halfway point and then I’d have enough left in the tank to attack the second half of the run.
And that’s what happened. The first 30 minutes (ok, 35) was comfortable. Indeed, we tackled the Ballymoney Road up to the Circular Road which offered a gradual but steady climb, before dropping down the Old Ballymoney Road and then another incline up Thomas Street into the town centre. I coped with all these very well, actually holding something back too.
When we got to Hill Street we were offered the chance to stay with the group, or to open our legs and sprint onto the bandstand at Broadway and back again. I was feeling good so I decided to test myself and pushed onto the bandstand, opening up quite a gap on those coming behind me.
I know it’s not a race and these club sessions are all about running at your own pace, but for my confidence it was a huge booster because for the past few weeks I’ve neglected to take the chance to run on like this. It felt good to be able to do it again.
After the club session I ran on for home, improving my speed per km by over a minute which was pleasing to know I could do with half-an-hour already in my legs in that heat.
Hopefully the blip of recent weeks is over me, but I’m not getting too cocky just yet.