I do it every time. Every single time. Do what? Doubt myself, that’s what.
Before tonight I hadn’t run for three days. I know, I know … a whole three days! But that’s how little time it takes for my self doubt to creep in.
It’s ridiculous really. I’m running better at the minute than I have ever done and feeling fitter than I’ve done for ages, so why does my confidence waver after a few days off?
Anyway, it’s Monday night so that meant club night. Walking up my legs felt in excellent condition, so much so that I was very tempted to run there. I’m always wary of doing this because I never quite know how the club session will go and I don’t want to use any more energy than is necessary in case things go badly.
As usually happens now, I went with the session that most of my running buddies decided upon so, tonight, it was 45-minutes. I was happy enough with that, and could easily have gone with the 30s or the hour group … but 45 it was.
Walking up, it was a lovely, clear evening – quite warm, with no need for gloves or a buff. But something changed whilst we were waiting in the leisure centre for the weekly announcements and for the groups to be split up because, when we emerged back outside, it was cold, dark and raining heavily! The heavens had well and truly opened, it would have been so easy just to retreat back indoors.
However, we had a run to do, it was time to pull up my big boy pants and just get on with it. We started off quite briskly – squelching all the way, I think I need new trainers! – to the extent that I actually stopped at one point to look around me, just to make sure I was in the right group and I hadn’t somehow drifted off into another quicker group!
It was indeed the 45s, so I knuckled down and got on with it. For a few moments I thought I wasn’t going to cope but, no, the more we ran the more comfortable I became.
Whilst this was good it also surprised me. I was running in a fast group, and managing to hold a conversation at the same time.
The route took us up the Fry’s Road which, whilst not terribly steep, is a long, steady incline and quite often tough enough going. Tonight it didn’t trouble me and, indeed, I actually recorded my fastest time up it according to Strava.
As usual, when we had finished I elected to run the rest of the way home. In total I did 4.5 miles and, on another night, would have been tempted to make it up to five miles but I was cold and wet so thought there’d be no point running the risk of picking up any bugs for the sake of half-a-mile. It had been a successful evening, and I felt good about it, so I was more than content.