Sunday, 25 October 2009

Day 182 - running with the gays

Type - Steady run

Distance - 4 miles

Time - 30 minutes 42 seconds

I had been meaning to join London's gay and lesbian running club, Front Runners, for a while. I had never quite got round to it. The Saturday run starts at 9.30am, so a late night on a Friday puts the kibosh on that. Monday's never fill me with enthusiasm to go for a first run with a new group, and I play football on Wednesdays. Last week I was going to go on the Saturday, but a late night round at Mark and Kate's meant there was no chance I was going in. But this week I had nothing on the Friday, had had an early night and was up and ready to go.

I was a bit nervous about heading down for the first run. I've never run with a group, and had no idea what to expect. Fortunately everyone was really friendly, and it seems like a great bunch - social but committed to running. There are people of different levels, with some really great runners who stormed ahead from the outset.

We get changed over at St. Mary's Hospital before congregating at the Italian Gardens near Lancaster Gate. People then do a 2, 4 or 6 mile run, and head off round Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. Still feeling a bit sore after Thursday's run I decided just to do 4 miles (map). I started running at my own pace, which fell behind the faster runners but in front of a big chunk of people. I was finding it difficult to get in to a stride - perhaps being unfamiliar with the route and not knowing the mile markers fed into this. It wasn't a comfortable run for some reason, one of those sessions that doesn't quite come together. I did finish in just over half an hour, so still well under eight minute miles. But for a four mile run should have been able to do a bit better than that.

After the run the group heads off for breakfast, which feels like a very civilised way to spend a Saturday morning! Quite pleased, all in all, and I will be back.

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