I’ve been thinking of becoming a Runner for a quite a while now. My partner and my two running friends say I should just put my trainers on and walk out the door and start running then I will be a runner rather than someone who just lies on the couch eating maltesers while reading Runners World. This seems a rather simplistic approach but I do accept they may have a valid point.
So today was the day due to a number of factors. My Menopause book tells me that physical activity and exercise can relieve many of the common physical and mental/emotional symptoms that accompany ‘the change’ and I am very much in need of the ‘runner’s high’ (tbh any high would do but running won’t result in a stretch in Cornton Vale). Also, my friend who runs says if you run enough you can eat as much as you want because you burn it off which clinched the deal.
And this is particularly important due to me having Slimming World class tomorrow and having not exactly stuck to plan. I can’t bear the possibility of going in having gained weight. I really wish I had worn heavier clothes last week. I am hoping that the running will help along with the pint of blood I plan to give at the blood bank tomorrow just before class.
Also, while me and the SW plan were on a ‘break’, I was persuaded by a friend to sign up for a 10k in June and now the cocktail induced cockiness has worn off I am slightly worried. Especially as we are doing it for charity so I can hardly just not bother to turn up without looking like a terrible person who doesn’t care about saving Greek Donkeys (cause was NOT my choice btw!).
But on the positive side the 10K coincides neatly with the end of my 12 week countdown at Slimming World so I am picturing myself 20lbs lighter floating gazelle like over the finish line then holding my 10K medal high for photos that I can then post on facebook and lots of people can say things like ‘wow how fit are you?’ and ‘you look totes amazing!’ instead of ‘Feck that is a massive cocktail’ and ‘wow you look so well’ which everyone knows means ‘wow you have piled the beef on haven’t you?’
Thankfully, as an organised person, my preparations are almost complete. So far I have:
• Downloaded Couch 2 5K app on my phone
• Bought lovely white trainers in Run4It that cost a lot but come from a proper running shop so will be of very good quality and will make me run faster
• Gone back to Run4It and bought navy trainers as decided I did not want to get white trainers dirty by wearing them outside (white ones will not be wasted though as I am putting them aside for indoor use and will be using them when I get time to go to the gym I joined 6 months ago)
• Bought 2 lovely running outfits from Marks and Spencer (would have got them from Run4It but they have a strange idea of what size XL is and hence nothing fitted me apart from my trainers and a lovely buff thing that you put on your head to keep the hair away (socks would probably have fitted me too but at £12 a pair that was not happening!)
• Drove past the meeting point for a running group but decided not to join them on account of being twice the size of the biggest man there and four times the size of the biggest woman
• Bought wireless earphones so I can run without getting tangled up
• Subscribed to Runner’s World and been very inspired by the adverts of smart Active wear and the images of skinny runners
• Visualised crossing the London Marathon finishing line and being interviewed for Runner’s World on how I had thought I was past it but now work as a Running Coach and attribute my new size 10 figure to my new lifestyle
• Bought two sports bras that are lovely and in time I may buy tops that will unbutton far enough that people can see the pattern of my sports bra peeking out. Actually if I get thin enough i might just wear my leggings and my sports bra when I go out running like some of the models in my magazine
• Been on Map My Walk and discovered some 5K routes around me that are off the road and quiet enough that few people will see me but not so isolated that I might get mugged
• Bought some special running sweets – ‘running gels’ to give me energy while I run
So it was time! Time to run!
Sweet Dog was most excited and wagged her tail frantically in support when I put my trainers on so I couldn’t bear to leave her behind. And also I had seen an article in Runner’s World where a gorgeous slim woman was running with her dog beside her and I decided I wanted to portray a similar image. I also suspected I might be too knackered to walk her after my run.
So off we went. I drove to the park with the Loch that has a path round it that measures exactly 2.5K. Sweet Dog jumps out the boot and skips around happily. We set off at a nice gently slow jog. All is going well. My supportive bra is doing its job though to be honest I was at the back of the queue when they were giving out boobs so a vest would probably have been fine. My tummy swings from side to side which is a big disconcerting but I soon get used to it swinging in rhythm with my steps. My arse is the most problematic as it seems to have got a life of it’s own and I seriously start to think of designing then pitching a ‘bum bra’ at the next Dragons Den.
Then Sweet Dog starts the Shit Twirl. FFS!! Thank god I brought poo bags. I am not to be put off so I scoop it up and run on trying not to boak when my hand comes up near my face (which they tend to do every few seconds when you are a Runner) and the stink of poo overcomes me. WTF does that dog eat! Two minutes later and another Shit Twirl. I now have a bag of dog shit in each hand. I try to think of them as weights.
Where the fuck is a dog poo bin for goodness sake? Or any bloody bin!
Then I notice Sweet Dog has fucked off into a bush and is struggling to drag something out from under it. Oh God – please not make it a baby squirrel or little bird. She emerges proud as punch with a Robinsons bottle of what I would like to think is diluted orange cordial but suspect due to its proximity to the road may be piss from some lazy bastard that could not be arsed stopping for a wee so just pissed in his bottle and fired it out the window of his vehicle.
Stupid Dog will not give the bottle up. So now I am running holding two bags of shit while the bloody dog runs beside me proudly holding the bottle of piss in her mouth. I am really concerned that the image I am projecting is not anything like any of the Runners World images I have pored over. I make a note to never ever ever bring Stupid Dog with me ever again. And I hope and pray I do not bump into my ex.
Finally I find a bin and lob the bags in and drag the bottle from Stupid Dogs mouth and fire it in but not before a bit of what I really do hope is Robinsons Cordial leaks out from where her teeth have bit into the bottle and splashes on my new running trousers.
I keep going and suddenly my tummy cramps – oh god – I need to go. I need to go RIGHT NOW. What will I do? Oh God – I run behind a bush and just make it. WTF was that – has my body gone into shock from moving? None of the Runners World articles mentioned this side effect (which I have since found is quite common and even has an official name – Runners Trots or Fecal Urgency if you want a more medical term). I stagger out feeling rather weak but secretly wondering if that will help with the weigh in tomorrow. I also think I have now got something else in common with Paula Radcliff (apart from the running thing) and at least no one was there to broadcast it to the nation.
I am knackered now as I have been slowly running with just those few stops for nearly 8 minutes. So I decide to walk the rest of the way. Running World warns against overdoing it on your first few runs.
I will obviously need to build up a bit more stamina before June.
And possibly shop for some imodium!