Last night I went with Jeremy to his running club. He's been running with this club once a week almost since we moved here, but I've been too shy to go with him. I haven't been accountable to someone else during a running workout for years and years, and I wasn't sure I wanted to put myself out there again.
But I'm still riding the high of having smashed my 10k goal two weeks ago, so I heard they were doing 10-minute tempo run repeats for last night's workout and thought, why not?
We ran the repeats on a loop around a city park. The idea was that you would run your ten minutes on the course until it became necessary to stray from it in order to run the fastest path back to the common starting point before the time ran out. Imagine the main loop being the outside rim of a (squarish) wheel, and then the fastest path back to the start being one of many spokes, depending how far along the loop you were. This meant that you ran like the dickens for about nine minutes and twenty seconds and then turned and ran even faster back towards the start along any given spoke, wherever you were on the course.
And this is the point where I remembered how fun it can be to run with other people. There were about sixty people total participating (in 10-minute tempo run repeats in 0C weather in the dark in Turku). At any given time, as you were running the very fastest pace you could maintain for ten minutes, you could really only see the nearest half a dozen people to you. But as soon as it came time to turn and run towards the start, it was magic. Out of nowhere, you were no longer one of a couple of people running on a course, but one of sixty people making a mad dash back toward the start from all directions, reflectors and flourescent jackets and headlamps blazing.
It was a great return to running with other people!