A Week Without Running
Wow, a whole week, believe me I have felt the guilt, and thought that I 'should' go for a run. That I 'must' go for a run, but I have a plethora of valid excuses in my proverbial handbag.
Man Flu was my first excuse at the beginning of the week. Yes, yes I know I'm not a bloke, but I'm also very unused to feeling even remotely poorly. It seems that smoking does, in fact, have some health benefits. I can hear you scoffing 'balderdash' and 'piffle' but let me tell you it's true (please don't be concerned that I've started again, I haven't, not even a puff, even being in another's smoke is not nice). Apparently the vast quantities of toxins and nasty stuff that live in cigarettes is quite good at killing off bugs, colds bugs, sore throat bugs and all things bug like that create Man Flu. So a couple of Sunday's ago my throat got sore, and continued on it's course to make me feel rather rubbish. I figured I'd get over it, a good nights kip, oh no, on it's course it continued, goddammit, all the way into Monday which saw Monday closing at a very un-respectable 9pm, in PJ's feeling incredibly sorry for myself. No running took place on Monday, nor on Tuesday. Wednesday saw the arrival of new carpet in my, now, therapy room with some rapid furniture moving and gluing taking place until late. Thursday was booked with a hypnotherapy client and Friday was of course footy night. Nice one England (high five). Saturday opened with a slightly jaded run down feeling, followed by the movies, and then a trip to Portsmouth to meet my long lost Welsh little brother for a bite to eat, arriving home on Sat at about 10pm. Knackered.
And then there were trainers
Determined not to go the weekend without running I set my alarm for Sunday morning at 8.30. Yeah . . . a little bit sad, on a Sunday? My alarm went off, I got up, and my trainers magically appeared on my feet, my iPod plugged in, hardcore dance tunes ready to promote the pounding of my feet, and I was out of the door.
Bloody hell it felt good to be out. The sun was shining, I had some good tunes going on and my feet were moving in front of one another faster than a walk (but not much faster). I realised that I hadn't beaten myself up with my internal dialogue, or given up because I actually couldn't manage a run for a week, that life is busy and it's OK when you can't always do what you want to do, shit happens, get over it. And so I decided to join a running club.
The Running Club
The tune I have running through my head as I write is the Chariots of Fire theme tune, you can hear it here in case you've been living on another planet and have no idea what it sounds like http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9myoXFk-O4U but the other tune running through my head (no pun intended) is Nelly the Elephant http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_a-m3pH9Dr8. The running club meet at 6.30 on the grass triangle, on the common, opposite the Belmoor Pub in Southampton. I was nervous. I was nervous that I was going to be the only person looking like a Ribena Berry person at the end of it, that I'd be trailing behind, lost in the common as it got darker, hearing strange noises, just like a horror movie, that other runners would be tutting as they waited for me. It wasn't like that. Not like that at all.
Running with Father Christmas
There were a lot of newbie runners, about 10 -12 of us I think. And we were all under the careful watch of two veteran runners. One of them, I'm sure was old enough to be my Grandad (God rest his soul), a shock of white hair (who looked a little like Father Christmas), who runs 10 - 15 miles a couple of times a week for fun and a bloody lovely fellow. The other chap is apparently an ex footballer, Spanish and tanned. Unfortunately also old enough to be my Dad (God rest his soul too). And they really looked after us, chatted away, kept us going and generally promoted a warm glow in the heart, not just from the exertion of running. And I wasn't the fastest in the beginners group and I wasn't the slowest either! Hurrah. I was the second slowest though (the Nelly tune is just starting up) but being the second slowest means that I can only get faster (Chariots of Fire tune kicking in). We did sprints after our lap, which I quite enjoyed and then back to the triangle of grass to meet (I can't stop inappropriate images going through my head when I mention 'triangle of grass') with the rest of the runners. They gave announcements and talked about something called Park Run http://www.parkrun.org.uk which is a free race which runs every Sat across the country, Southampton's first one on 7th July (I'll be away studying on my last Hypnotherapy training weekend, a bit sad it's the last) you sign up on line, get a bar code, get scanned when you start and by the time you get home all your details have been downloaded so you can track your improving speed. All sounds pretty good to me.
Running in the Rain
I have a fellow runner who is a lot fitter than I am who also joined the running club with me and we went for a run last night. It was meant to be a test Park Run, but we got the times wrong, we were half an hour early, so rather than hang about in the wind and rain we decided to go for it. Running in the rain is strangely quite nice. I feel like I'm railing against the world, that I'm running no matter what you throw at me (imagine fist in the air and scary shouty face) and that's a very empowering feeling, one that I intend to keep hold of. Running to me is more than getting physically fit and strong, somehow it's getting me mentally fit and strong and that makes me smile on the inside. Fingers crossed the Bongadongs will reduce in size, no change yet but small changes in size on other parts of my body. I still haven't weighed or measured myself and I don't think I'll bother, heck I'll know if my jeans are too big to wear anymore, I'll be shouting about it to anyone who will listen. I still have a tight chest from the coldy (Man Flu) flemmy thing that I haven't quite managed to shift but it won't stop me going out this weekend for my running fix.