Fun, motivation and new routes with TrailFest runs
I am a fairly self-disciplined person and I am often happy to go out for a run or a bike ride on my own. However, there are times when I need a boost of motivation or the company of other runners. This is especially true in winter when the outdoors looks uninviting and the indoors is warm and cosy.
It was like this last week. The first week of the year always makes me feel a bit low. First there is the anticlimax of an enjoyable festive period. Second, I am usually struggling to recover from the excesses of Hogmanay. In addition, I am usually working while others are not (namely G who gets to do as he wishes until his office opens again.)
And I find that while everyone else is making grand New Year’s resolutions I want to run away and return when the spring arrives. I just don’t find that the first week in January is a time for being very inspired.
My mood didn’t seem to improve and by Wednesday lunchtime I had not been out for a run for three days in a row. This is not like me! But it was cold and wet and seemingly dark most of the day.
A post on Facebook popped up to suggest I join a TrailFest RunSOCIAL 5k run at Mugdock Country Park, near my home. I thought that sounded like a brilliant idea.
What is Run SOCIAL?
TrailFest is run by Jo and Ryan, a couple whose enthusiasm for running and run guiding is infectious. RunSOCIAL is a programme of led trail runs of 5k, 10k and further. Most are held in and around Mugdock, while others explore trails further afield.
I knew that if I signed up to the session, paid and had people to meet I would go. Which I did.
But even as I drove to the session, I wondered if I could actually be bothered. Thankfully, the minute that I was greeted by Jo and two other runners (two more joined the group after me), I forgot about my woes and lack of motivation and enjoyed the outing.
It was wet and dark (head torches required) but Jo led us on a lovely route along the West Highland Way and through Mugdock. I have run here many times before and, indeed, there was no reason for me not to run there solo, but I enjoyed the chance to switch off, follow a route without thinking about it and chat to the other runners.
I met four new people in that one short session and I enjoyed their company. (I already know Jo!)
I found Jo to be an excellent guide and her route was imaginative and fun. The pace was comfortable and at various intervals we stopped to regroup. No one was left behind and everyone was made to feel welcome.
I started the outing with a heavy heart and finished with a bounce in my step.
Why pay to run?
When I mentioned to someone that I was planning to pay to join a running session they questioned why I might do that. Afterall, I could run on my own and not pay. I could run with a friend and not pay. I could follow a new route found on-line and not pay. I could sit at home and think about running and not pay.
But on that day – and no doubt on many other days – I thought that £5 was a fair price to pay for an organsied run that offered motivation, friendship, company and a refreshing new route.
I am happy to pay for spins sessions, swimming classes, 5k running events etc, so I don’t mind paying for the expertise and time of a running group leader.
Find out more about the RunSOCIAL sessions at TrailFest.