Well, it’s been yonks since my last running post and in that time lots has changed -alongside very little changing!
I have gone from running a few minutes at a time, and having my innards wanting to throw themselves out of me within 10 minutes, to being able to run for over 30minutes without stopping! Of course, the reason I can now run for that long is because what I actually do is shuffle at the speed of a randy tortoise. I can recall Helen, my awesome coach/trainer/friend/encourager, coming back for me one session and I swear at one point she was running backwards to talk to me as I slobbed along. I glanced across the street, squinty, sweating, barely making any noise but desperate lungs-dying grunting, to see a man in his 50s or 60s just out for an evening stroll…and I could barely keep time with him!!
It wasn’t much better when I was on my own; I remember once running behind a miniature schnauzer who was basically trotting. I only managed to keep up by running in time with his swinging little bollocks.
However, I somehow made it to the final 5k run – and, with a couple of minutes walking now and then, I made the distance. I actually completed the 5k! That’s over 3 miles!! And I got a medal and everything! I was a fucking goddess and would obviously be running marathons by the end of the year. Totally.
Yeah…..nope. Two days later I went for a run by myself, buoyed by the fact I was now basically Paula Radcliffe without a poop story hanging over me. However my body had still not forgiven me for making it go a whole km further than it ever had before and so within minutes my thighs were wobbling with effort and not just because of the cellulite. I decided to change direction to a shorter route, forgetting the miniscule upward slope that then became Ben Nevis. I went home very soon after feeling utterly deflated, both physically and mentally, to the point I didn’t run for over a week after that.
But something really weird has happened to me. Despite the pain, the sweating, the swearing, the various body parts threatening to fall off, or fall out, I missed it. I missed running, even if it was only for a few minutes. It was the weirdest feeling cos I’ve never missed not doing an exercise before, not even Just Dance on the Wii (and I LOVE Just Dance on the Wii!)
And so I decided to ditch the app, the required time/distance per session, and just see what I could manage. Yes, I run a lesser distance and a lesser a time, but I actually run faster. I ACTUALLY OVERTOOK SOMEONE TODAY! I mean, wtf?! Admittedly, once I was out of view of anyone I virtually slowed to a stop and took big, gulping, noisy, breaths, but fuck, for 5 minutes I felt like I was flying (I probably looked less like I was flying and more like I was bouncing along slightly out of control; a bit like that old advert “Belly’s Gonna Get Ya!” with me as the belly).
Now I’m not doing this to lose weight, despite the fact I’m sure my doctor would probably collapse to his knees and beg me to at least try and drop some pounds (stones!) And actually I haven’t lost a single pound since starting this, despite suddenly running 3 days a week. But I HAVE changed shape. My arse has always been pretty epic, as far as I’m concerned, but now it’s outstanding. It’s so high and round I fully expect Kim Kardashian and Nikki Minaj to be enviously contacting me soon begging me to stop outshining them in the butt department.
Also I ended up, quite randomly, having a full NHS health check at work this week too. They did the lot; BMI (THAT was scary!), blood pressure, checks for diabetes, cholesterol, cardiovascular check, lung capacity, oxygen saturation; absolutely everything. And by God, I might be fat, but I’m fit as fuck. Seriously. I’m stupidly healthy. I literally bounded out of it and told everyone I bumped into. I’m almost tempted to put the results sheet in my purse so I’ve always got it with me.
And in fact, I wish I had done that when I was running to my mum’s the other day. There I am, running happily along the road, music playing, sun shining, all good, when I notice a mobility scooter pulling up beside me. I glance to see an old man of elephantine proportions balanced on it, looking at me. I assume because of his width that he’s worried about squeezing past on the path and so I slow and move over to let him pass, smiling at him. Except he slows too and leans forward. Oh. He wants to say something. Now this has happened to me before. Various people have made brief comments of encouragement, or complimented me on a particular item of running gear perhaps. Not this man. This man, this gent, twice my size, nearing twice my age, driving on this machine, wanted to offer me some advice. “I used to be bigger than you and I lost weight by only eating 1200 calories a day. And you shouldn’t run, it’s very bad for you. You should walk. I used to walk 5 miles a day. And I lost loads of weight. You should do the same.” Now my darling friend has often told me I’m far too polite for my own good. And I desperately tried to keep to that again, “oohing” at him, trying to make it sound like admiration and not out-and-out condescension. Not sure how convincing I was though! I was so tempted to sarcastically (but very brightly!) say “oh well, in the long run it made absolutely no difference to you though, did it?” But I managed to hold off, smile and turn the other way to escape him. Silly old sod.
But I don’t care. I know this running lark is pretty good fun. I like going outside and looking around. I probably won’t ever really run that marathon and tbh I am MORE than okay with that. I might never get any slimmer and I’m okay with that too. I might not run for as long, or as far, or as fast as other people do. But I do run. And I can run.
And I might sign up for the local 5k fun run in October, if only cos I want another medal!