Sunday, August 9, 2015

Running in a Herd

Mrs. Moose flips through her Running Guide to London Book...

"I think I am going to go do Petts Wood and Jubilee Park tomorrow. I think I can make it a 10 miler if I loop both"

Mr. Moose looks up from his computer screen, and tentatively asks...

"Can I join you?"

This was one of the best questions my husband ever asked me (besides the obvious one of 'will you marry me'). I have always felt pangs of guilt as I would jog away from him to take my place on the starting line of a half, and always wished he would give it a try himself. I would never race WITH him.. no no, I want to have a LONG and PEACEFUL marriage. Knowing he is running the same race as me however I would find very motivating and we could then celebrate together. He is slowly getting back into running after a long hiatus, so I am silently hopeful. Supportive but not pushy.

"Of course!" I say delighted.

There are certain things everyone in a group run (be it 2 or 20 people) must understand on the get go. These are more guidelines really, as some running clubs can be very competitive (causing most of these rules to fly out the window). Think of this as more 'running with mates'.
  1. ONE person leads. The last thing you want is a quarrel mid run. Just roll with it unless there is some major deviation. Believe me, the leader will feel silly and buy you a beer afterwards. 
  2. Be flexible. This seems a bit weird after Rule One, but sometimes NOT following a path can lead to wonderful views, tucked away pubs, animal sightings, etc. 
  3. Long runs are not meant to be race runs. Its good to settle on a pace range before setting off, but don't suddenly try and take lead. It's weird and causes aggro. 
  4. If you are running with mixed abilities, don't get angry if the final distance was way shorter than your desired goal. You can always get more miles in-- group runs are about camaraderie
  5. Let people know if you will be stopping and taking pictures. People can then get a free 'slow' pace whilst waiting and then you simply catch up. Back in the game!
I am not use to running with others on non-race days (moose are quite isolated creatures), but I really enjoyed running with my other half. We both had headphones on but its was reassuring to have him there, especially when we did get a tad lost (yes yes I was leading...). He likes a bit more structure to his runs (a set, known path that can be easily followed) but we made it work, and I felt I could help him pace himself.. leading to his longest run in a while. He helped me by being there in the peripheral vision-- willing me forward on the inclines (I can't let him see I am tired!!)

We got off at Chiselhurst and the Wood literally started across the road. It was bit confusing at first (where does this trail start??) but we eventually found the Petts Wood Circular Trail and set off on it. We passed horses, cows, sheep, and an amazing house that looked like it belonged in an alpine forest (*jealous*). There were some inclines, but the views were wonderful. It was hard to imagine central London being only 25 minutes away. This map may have been helpful but hindsight is 20/20...

::Waiting at the train station post run ::

Mr. Moose looks at me and smiles, "Thank you for letting me come with you. It was an amazing run!"

Did I do my desired mileage? No. But with praise like that from my best friend-- I was not too fussed ;)

No comments:

Post a Comment