Intervals, the club session I love to hate!
Tuesday night is club night as far as running is concerned; the other club night is far less frequent these days!
I digress, sorry. I belong to Fareham Crusaders Running Club (FCRC) and we meet on a Tuesday and Thursday at the Leisure Centre. The club facebook page informed us that the session for the week was going to be intervals in groups according to pace. The speed session is one that I dread but, absolutely love when it is over. So, the thought of it made my stomach lurch and I began looking at the weather reports to see if I could talk myself out of not going with imminent snow or something similar! Who was I kidding; I run whatever the weather, so I found myself at the leisure centre at 6.45.
The buzz in the meeting room was brilliant, catching up with runners who I hadn’t seen since we completed our first ultra-marathon together the week before Christmas. I love being a part of this club. There were lots of notices to be given at the beginning and then our options in terms of groups were announced; 7min mile, 8 min mile groups up to and including a beginners group. We then all poured outside of the leisure centre, somewhere in the region of 120 people, all waiting to get a signal on their Garmin watches before heading off into the dark to complete the session!
Choice made after some deliberation about which group I was going to go with. The difference between and 8 min mile and a 9min mile for example is quite a lot. I chatted to my friend on the warm up about the festive period and how it had been ages since we had all been back at club together. Well, the chatting stopped there as soon as we saw the loop that our run leaders had chosen for us! We were to run the loop as fast as we could and they would time us, shouting the time out as we completed it. The idea with the session that you complete the laps in the same amount of time, easier said than done. We must have looked like a group of sulking school children waiting to do cross country, with far too much high viz stuff on.
It was freezing that night and it soon became obvious that we all had far too many layers on. After the first lap when were standing/leaning over recovering from the intensity, steam was rising around the group of 25 and, there was hardly any talking going on. I love the challenge of these as I think to myself, right let’s see how fast I can go and charge off way too fast, then regret it as, it is hard to maintain for the loop. Being amongst speedier runners is such an incentive to try that bit harder so that’s what I did. Gloves discarded, normal running eGloves of course, and before we knew it the session was over.
Cool down run back to the centre and then we could all chat again. I had a great chat with a couple of the guys about trail marathons and we compared notes about which ones we were hoping to enter this year. The cold then started setting in to I said my goodbyes and see you next weeks and headed home to get warm and, most importantly watch the second episode of Silent Witness. Now, I didn’t see that twist coming!!