I’ve joined a new running club.
The stripes are still in a drawer as a reminder of all the good times with Fulham Running Club, but now I’ve joined local Edinburgh club Carnethy.
They’re a hill running club and last week I went along to my first training session with them – hill reps. A world away from my sessions in London with Wild Trail Runners, pounding the pavements of Holland Park, this session was on tough, then icy, terrain with a gradient that is telling of the ski slope that was our background. On Tuesday evening we warmed up with a slow jog up to the bottom of the ski slope then completed three sets of 3, 2, 1 minute efforts up the hill, with the descent as our recovery. Only 18 minutes of effort but my lungs, calves and quads definitely felt it!
The club also meet on a Monday – ladies night – Tuesday and Thursday for hill reps, with Thursday’s setting of Arthur’s Seat, and Wednesdays for a longer social run, and my weekends are booked up for the next month with club races – Feel the Burns, Devils Burden, XC and Carnethy 5. It’s action packed.
Yesterday, I pulled my new club vest on for the first time, as Nige and I drove down to the Scottish Borders to race in the Borders XC league at Paxton House. It was a beautiful setting and the course had a bit of everything – lumpy fields, lots of shoe-sapping mud, gnarly tree roots, a fence to hop and two icy river crossings to clean your shoes! This was the second race I’ve run in the series, the first on the beach at Spittal in December, so it was nice to race on firmer ground and feel part of a team this time, as dozens of red and yellow donned runners raced around me, including Nigel.
Tomorrow the club hosts the first in a series of Winter Talks, hosted by club members who speak about a broad range of subjects and their experiences. I’m excited to hear more about Carnethy club members as they share their adventures and I’m sure it’ll inspire many to create their own.
Here’s to a new week, new training goals, racing adventures and running buddies. Go team!