To be fair, that is one of the aspects of running that I love. I was out for a 10km run this morning and I loved being in complete 100% of the situation. I could go easy when I wanted or push when I wanted. I could also think. My thoughts race when I run and I like grappling with them. Solitude might be a negative in some aspects of life but when it comes to running it is a huge strength in my books.
But sometimes hunting in packs is called for. I joined Run/Walk for Life last year and it really helped with my running, particularly cementing the commitment aspect of running. Commitment to the sport was always one of my weakest points. I struck up an understanding with the runner's at my Run/Walk for Life branch in Benoni. They were training for far bigger goals, as big as Comrades while I was starting out. I had natural speed but lacked the strength and stamina of a runner like Tony, so we complemented each other.
I was saddened when I moved to Pretoria as it meant I would lose that. I have been lucky that my I have been able to run with my father. My mid week runs remain solo affairs but I do my long runs with him. Soon I will start doing speedwork with him as well as gym training. We are building up an understanding, which is great as I will be chasing his
As my Run/Walk for Life mentioned nears an end, I am clubless and it's an awkward time to find a new club as my licence is tied to Run/Walk for Life. In the interim I have chanced upon an amazing initiate. I'm developing into a bit of a Nike fanboy! My last three pairs of running shoes have been Pegasus, the 2005, 27 and 28 and I love them to bits. I will probably invest in a pair of ZoomElite+ 5s as a lightweight performance trainer and as I get faster I will think about getting the LunarRacer+ 2. I use the Nike+ system as well and I'm also going to invest in socks, gloves and other apparel. So quite the fanboy!
Since the Run Jozi event, I noticed that Nike had quite the social network presence under the handle NikeRunningZA both on Twitter and Facebook. As a user of both networks I have like/followed them and had noticed the Nike+ Run Club that started in Rosebank and is now also at Centurion, on Wednesday and Thursday respectively. While I was staying in Benoni, both Rosebank and Centurion were quite inconvenient. I could have gone to Rosebank after work but it would have meant probably getting home after 7pm, not ideal when I have a three year old waiting for me!
This week I finally took the plunge and went. I was bit late but go there in the nick of time to sign the indemnity form and get the super duper awesome Dri-Fit shirt, brand new with the tag still attached. We did a quick warm up by the lakes at the mall, impressively doing dynamic stretching instead of the usual static stretching, so leg swings, jumps, jogging on the spot etc, good stuff.
|Swinging those legs, dynamic stretching is fun!|
|Striding back to the finish at Centurion Mall|
I enjoyed it so much I'm going to try and fit the Centurion Nike+ Run Club a part of my training routine. It really is great fun being around a large group of runners even if everyone is running at their own pace/effort. I will try and make the session fortnightly and use it as a time trial either doing a single lap or doing a double lap which will be ~6.9km. More than anything, I'm looking forward to, even if it's twice a month running with a group of people who enjoy running, doing it for their own personal reasons, but sharing that common enjoyment.
I really have to applaud Nike for doing this. I'm not sure if it was borne out of the Run Jozi event but I think it's a good thing for them to extend that goodwill from that race and push the idea of running as a lifestyle. I know how much good running has done for me over the past 12 months. I'm healthier, fitter and happier about myself physically and I hope that through an initiative like this more people can experience that. It's great to see a big company showing a bit of corporate responsibility, particular when matters of healthy living are involved.
Well played Nike. Well played!