Another two run night. It all began at the launch of the club Cosy Sofa to 5k programme in Kells, a small village about five miles outside Ballymena.
I love these occasions and always try to go along to support the club and the nervous, novice runners taking their first steps on their running journey. I know only too well what that feels like so if I can help I will.
I acted as tail runner for one of the groups, led by John who was organising the entire scheme. It was actually an education watching him in action and the advice he gave taught me something too. Every day is a school day and all that.
That over, my original plan was to run back home but I was advised that the local roads could be a little bit dangerous (no footpaths in places) and, coupled with the fading light, I knocked the idea of a run home on the head.
Instead, I took a lift back into Ballymena and got dropped off a bit from home. The most direct route was just over a mile from my front door but I decided, as an alternative, to take the scenic route which would come in at around 5k.
I set off gently. I was already warmed up after Kells but I didn’t have any great desire to push myself.
Somewhat ominously the skies started to darken quite quickly with black menacing clouds. I knew I was unlikely to make it back without getting soaked, but I hadn’t anticipated quite how wet I would get. It absolutely bucketed down! So much so that I had to stop after a mile and take shelter under a tree … the rain really was that torrential.
I resumed my run once the downpour eased a little but I was so eager to get home I absolutely bolted back, clocking a 10 and then a 9-minute something mile. All that intervals training I’ve been doing lately must have done something good!
Indeed, if you added both parts of my run together I would have set a new 5k PB. I can’t claim it with a clear conscience because of the gap in the middle but it still felt good for it to pop up as an alert on my Garmin. I hadn’t done much running since the Chippenham Half so perhaps the rest was good for me.
It was a far cry from 48 hours earlier when I ran back from circuits class. That was a difficult mile. Yes, I was tired from class, but I’m usually looser and faster than I was … possibly my head still wasn’t quite in the right place.