Last summer I started running. For those of you who missed it I blogged my couch-to-5k experience over on my tamsinsworld blog – click here if you want to read all about that.
So, since then I have been continuing in my quest for a less wobbly belly and an overall feeling of fitness. It was all going really well last summer and into the Autumn. I was running several times a week and managing 5k routinely. I had increased in confidence to the point where I no longer minded doing the school run with a red face and in my running gear. But then WINTER happened. I’ve always hated rain. I’m not particularly partial to the cold. Add cold and wet together and, in my eyes, you have a miserable day right there. Add running into the equation and no. Just no. I tried it a few times – buoyed on by my ‘real’ running friends’ proclamations of ‘oh I love running in the rain, it’s so refreshing, you can go faster’. Again – No. Just no.
I hate running in the rain. I hate the feeling of a squishy foot when I’ve run through a puddle. It’s horrible having rain run down your face and neck. I really don’t like that ‘I’m cold because it’s pissing it down and it’s November but I am boiling too because I’ve just run 3 miles’ feeling. So I made the executive decision that I wasn’t going to run outside in the rain – only run on lovely crisp, sunny, wintery days. So I did that a few times – until I encountered ICE. Imagine bambi reincarnated as a sweaty middle aged housewife with tourettes. Skating around – swearing like a navvy. Didn’t work for me.
So – overall what I’m telling you is that I am most definitely a fairweather runner. BUT I haven’t been just sitting on my arse eating maltesers and watching Rizzoli & Isles whilst the boys are at school (well, shhhhhhh, some of the time I have but not ALL of the time). For Christmas my loving husband bought me personal training sessions. Now before you go thinking ‘well, that’s a bit rude – did he write ‘dear fatty bum bum, lose some weight you lazy wench, love your husband’ on the gift tag? ‘ I did actually ASK for the sessions. I’ve really loved them. Aside from the seemingly relentless coughs and colds we have all seem to have suffered from this year I have had at least one, sometimes two, sessions a week. My trainer is mild mannered and friendly but she has really pushed me – but in such a supportive way that I’ve wanted to do it. Love the sessions – love far less the fact that at the moment for at least half the week I can’t sit on the toilet without wincing and walking up the stairs seems nigh on impossible without tears. I have lost inches all over and feel generally loads better about my body.
Not a cheap way to get fit but it’s been amazing.
Now the weather has improved I have also gone back to running outside. I’ve found that the strength training has really helped my stamina and I can run faster for longer.
Lest you think that I’m pounding the streets of Manchester like a younger Paula Radcliffe (with less poohing on the side of the road) I feel that in the interests of full disclosure you should know the following”
1. For me it’s FAST. Like rocket-speed fast. Super-sonic. Crack open the bubbly fast. For snails it is also FAST. For anyone who actually can run, I am painfully aware, I am in fact SLOW. Sod this 10k in under an hour. That, my friends, is a distant dream. I am getting faster but I am judging myself against myself. This time last year the only thing that would have made me run would have been a sudden announcement of a flash sale at John Lewis. Now I can run over 5 miles NON STOP. That’s progress people.
2. Positive mental attitude. Easier some days than others isn’t it? I had a dreadful run a few weeks ago where I’d barely done 2k before I felt completely drained. I carried on and finished my 5k but then came home and wept buckets that I was ‘fat and stupid for thinking I could ever run’. I also had a run where I was overtaken by some dick of a male runner who whizzed past me so fast, without even saying excuse me, that I nearly fell off the pavement. Have to admit I pulled a horrible face at his back and flicked him the v’s. This made me feel a little better until I noticed a load of college kids on the other side of the road who had seen me do it and were pissing themselves laughing. Down side – I felt like a tit. Up side – I ran a bit faster to get away from the sound of their laughter. But other runs are GREAT – I overtook a couple of people on a run last week. Me – overtaking someone. Never thought that would happen. And at the end of my fastest to date 5k I got to the end of the drive and actually whooped out loud. A runner going past at the time gave me a massive cheer!!
3. Despite it, on the whole, getting easier – there is still a moment in every run – normally after about 3 minutes – when I wonder if I have had a stroke since I last tried running. It’s as if my legs and hips have suddenly forgotten how to walk, let alone run, and I stagger along as if I have artificial limbs. Then I kind of get into my stride. But I always worry I won’t and I will be left lurching along like my legs don’t belong to me.
4. I still ache like a bastard after most runs. I also read that ‘your pace should be one where you can comfortably hold a conversation’. No. I cannot converse and run even at my pace. My chatting pace is ‘sitting on the sofa with a glass of wine’ – when I’m running I can only manage a grimace and nod of the head to on-coming runners.
And – BIG NEWS – I have entered the Manchester 10k which is on 18 May. TEN KILOMETRES. TEN. I am bricking it. I am yet to actually run 10k non-stop. I’m up to 8.8k currently and am hoping to get at least 2 10k runs under my belt before the big day. I do have a time in mind which I am aiming for – and for me – that will be a big ask. Mostly though I will just be so proud of myself for doing it that I will actually sob upon crossing the finishing line.
Wish me luck!!
Oh and please don’t think I’m showing off by blogging about my running *although what else is a blog really except for modern day showing off?* I just want to prove to you all out there that if I can run then so can YOU. (Please don’t overtake me though as I will swear at your back as you leave me for dust)