You, and my other reader (hi Mum!) may remember a post I wrote a few months back about my first experience with the running club here in Basel. My colleague told me in no uncertain terms to follow the group being lead by a guy named Toby. Toby was pointed out to me and we set off. Twenty minutes in I realised Toby was no longer in our group, I was now part of the fast group and the next hour and 15 minutes of my life were hell.
Since then I’ve stuck to Toby like a bad rash every time I’ve been running. He takes the middle group and we generally run for forty minutes at a good pace and I’ve been happily getting along. Last Tuesday after our run he said, that if I was up for a challenge, I should come along on Sunday mornings for “a long jog”. I asked for more details and he said it would be for an hour, an hour and fifteen minutes at the same pace we run on Tuesdays.
“Grand” says I, not being one to turn down a challenge. So I turned up on Sunday and had a quick chat with Toby. Then the guy leading the “long jog” starting addressing the group. It went something like this:
Hallo, Swiss German Swiss German Swiss German
Polite laugh from the group
Heute (today) Swiss German Swiss German zweite gruppe (two groups)
So I figured there’d be two groups today.
Swiss German Swiss German Swiss German Swiss German, let’s go!
I was completely lost and looked to Toby for help. He talked to the leader of the group and they decided I should go with the leader and not Toby’s group. Something didn’t seem right but I trusted Toby and off we set.
The pace was good, the countryside was beautiful and the weather cleared into a sunny day. Beautiful stuff. Warning bells started about an hour in. We were in the middle of nowhere and I’d got chatting with a couple in the group. They started asking me “are you running Berlin too?” I said no, I’ve thought about running a marathon but I’m nowhere near fit enough. They quickly changed the subject and we trudged on.
Still in the middle of nowhere we came to a hill and I was starting to feel tired. We got up to the top of the hill and the guy leading us realised we weren’t where he thought we were. He then said something in Swiss German, the group tunred round and we headed back down the hill, I’d just busted a lung getting up. They all seemed fine about it, I was calculating if I had enough energy left to strangle him with my bare hands.
Two hours in now and my legs are shot to pieces. I can see the city off through the fields but we’re running parallel to it and not towards it. So I decide to let it be known that I’m suffering and that I want to go home! The leader says we only have 15-20 minutes left to go and just one hill left before home. It was a small hill but the biggest one my legs have ever experienced. After that it was all down hill back to where we started.
We’d just run 20km in 2 hours and 10 minutes. I’d practically run a half marathon with little or no preparation. The funny thing is, they invited me back next week when they plan to run three hours as they step up the preparations for the Berlin marathon. I politely declined and focussed on trying to lift my leg high enough to get back on the bike to cycle home. Mercifully it was all down hill.
Today I’m in an inordinate amount of pain but not as much as Toby will experience the next time I see him!