I was going to title this post “Why I Hate Running” but I thought
(a) it was a bit of a negative start and
(b) when I thought about it really hard it was a bit disingenuous as I don’t totally 100% hate it.
In fact, if I drew a little pie chart thingy it would probably look something like this:
So you can see that I am not entirely loathing it, although it would be fair to say that the tiny little slither of the diagram can probably be attributed entirely to the very moment when I have just finished the run and it is all over for another couple of days.
Let me rewind a little bit. I am not a natural runner. I never want to run a marathon or a half marathon or even a tiny fraction of a marathon. I get heartily fed up of receiving endless Just Giving requests for friends who are carbing up and pouring themselves into custom made lycra ready to sprint for 26 miles. But I do want to be thinner, leaner and fitter (yes, in that order) and received wisdom has it that running is the way to go.
Having made that decision there was a major stumbling block in that I couldn’t actually run for more than about 30 seconds without requiring medical attention. Back to Google, and a quick search of ‘learn to run’ told me that I needed to build up gradually over time, and, before you could say Paula Radcliffe, I would be bounding, gazelle like, through the streets of Dorset. I could work out my own interval training programme or there are a thousand and one apps available that would do it for me. What I call a no brainer – onto the app store and I eventually landed on 5K Runner which promised me that I would be doing exactly that at the end of the eight week course.
The system is based on a walk/run/walk/run idea, the lengths and distribution being subtly altered each time and , if you do it three times a week, it should take eight weeks to complete. I’ve got to say that I am just starting week three and the end goal still feels a VERY long way away. Running 5K without stopping is, at the moment, about as likely as either of my children realizing that we do not own the world’s first self-loading dishwasher.
Credit where credit is due though – I am (very slowly) building up and I have gone from a total of 6 minutes running in week on to 9 minutes at the end of week 2. Go me. You can play your own music underneath the app which is great and every now and again a peppy American lady pipes up “Hey awesome runner! You’re doing great! You’re half way through!” Only half way? Grrrrr…
When you have finished each run the app posts to your Twitter timeline something along the lines of “I’m on my way to 5K! I ran for 6 minutes! I am awesome! Woop woop’. What I actually want to post is “My legs are burning, my face is puce and I think I might be sick. Woop flippin’ woop’.
I’m going to keep at it though because that one slither of the pie chart might just get bigger as my stamina builds. I can’t deny that every time I finish a run and the endorphins are racing around my body I do, just for a nanosecond, understand what drives the marathon brigade. But don’t expect a Just Giving request from me any time soon.