Saturday, 7 July 2012


At the beginning of the year I joined a running club at work. Prior to that, I simply ran for the hell of it. Usually because I'd eaten a whole cake the day before, or something. I'd never taken it seriously, nor particularly enjoyed it. Heckles and beeps from builders and white van men were not taken in my stride* and would result in a speedy change of direction en route.

I was mega self-conscious about everything; from my wonky running style to my patchy beetroot face. I've never been particularly unfit due to playing team sports pretty regularly for years, so the actual process of running wasn't a strain, but the effort to motivate myself to exercise alone was always a huge struggle and a hinderance. I did it to feel less guilty; not to feel good. Boo hiss!

So after a few weeks at run club, I signed up for a 10 mile race in my hometown, the British 10k, and Run to the Beat half-marathon. As you do.

I built up my miles steadily every week and couldn't believe that I managed to complete the 10 mile race in under an hour and a half which was my super optimistic aim. I knew from team experience that hard-work and training pays off, but it was funny to hold that achievement alone - knowing that it was only my pumping heart and big old legs were responsible.

Tomorrow is the British 10k and I am nervous. I have decided that it is the worst distance invented because:
  • I am not very good at pacing myself and have refused to buy an expensive snazzy watch to aid this
  • The only timed training I've done is at run club and is for a 1k distance which is always a full pelt verging-on-collapse spectacle
  • When I run at home I always run to miles, not kilometres. Also, I am very very bad at maths, yet my brain insists on constantly trying to figure out miles/k's sums in my head whilst running. Why? WHY!? Luckily it usually makes me run faster to get home to a calculator so that is one plus point

Not helping myself here am I.

Whatever. So in technical terms, 6.2miles is just that bit too far to run - what I like to call - 'proper fast' the whole way around. And so when I cross that start line tomorrow I expect I will be in excitable crazy sprint mode for a couple of miles/however many kilometres that is. Friggin loving life! Then my lungs will shout and complain and crumple. Maybe my knee will pester me too with its never-ending niggle. I'll get through it though because I am a stubborn mule, and with Heather Small singing 'Proud' before the off, I can hardly let her, or myself down. A bellowing 'WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TODAY...?' will echo in my ears, and when I cross the finish line I will most likely fall over but that is a mere technicality to end this technical analysis. 

Many people have been wonderful and donated their hard-earned dollar$ to aid my chosen charity, the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. I want to smash it for them too. Thank you x

I wouldn't say that since January I've taken my running more seriously - I still skip around during training and get the giggles when my lungs are heaving. My attitude has changed though, and I do enjoy it. I look forward to going out in the drizzle or the baking heat in my stupid clashing colours and mega t-shirts. I embrace the beetroot look, and I'm not embarrassed about being wonky and wibbly. I know that I can run bloody far one day and then eat tons of food and get up the next day with maybe an ache here and there but be like 'Cool. I did that. Just me! Wahoo!'

*massive pun



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