Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Trying to get away, into the night, then you put your arms around me and we tumble to the ground and then you say

Yesterday I ran just as fast as I could, which isn't that fast really, but I kept on doing it until I couldn't anymore, and it turned out that I ran for 4.5 km.  Which is only half a kilometre off my personal best.  It took rather a long time, but I don't care so much about that, it's still 4.5 km.

Earlier in the day, I ate cake, and read this rather silly article on the "My Fitness Pal" website.  Written by someone very fit, who has been running for a long time, and entitled "How to Learn to Like Running".  If you have been doing it for a long time, and you still don't like it, you must be some kind of idiot at best and some sort of sado-masochist at worst.

Anyway, I feel that with my new attitude towards exercise and the great outdoors, I could write something much better than that, and something less contradictory; point 4 - love your alone time, point 5 - run with a friend - proof reader to aisle 6.

How to Learn to Like Running, by a seriously unfit beginner

1. Get an app.  Seriously.  Download the Couch to 5 K programme.  Look at it.  Read through all the weeks, and properly scare yourself.  Close the app, and leave it for a few months.  There's lots of time.

2. Have a very minor health scare.  I'm pre-pre-diabetic.  I'm a bit overweight, and my waist measurement has just dropped from "high risk of heart disease and diabetes" to "risk of heart disease and diabetes"; when I was pregnant with Hat, I had gestational diabetes; last year, I was told that I had lots of plaque on my teeth, which is another weird little pre-diabetes thing; my grandmother has diabetes, my dad is pre-diabetic, I don't want either.  So either stop eating things I like or do exercise.

3. Sign up for a race before you are ready.  Once you start the programme and have done about a week, sign up for a 5k.  Don't do it the next weekend, that's just silly, but do it before you get to the end of the programme, ideally once it tells you that you are capable of running for 25 minutes without stopping.  Or collapsing.

4. Run on your own.  Race with a friend.  Particularly a supportive friend who sees you as a project.  My running friend runs marathons and can do 5km in about three minutes, so she was definitely there for the lunch afterwards.

5. Find your power tracks.  I like Cheated Hearts by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Fuck You by Cee Lo Green, Closer by Tegan and Sara, and Like Eating Glass by Bloc Party.  It should be clear that I have a magpie approach to music.  And poor to little taste.

6. Walk sometimes. You are still running faster than the person sitting on the sofa, playing computer games.  It's not a race against anyone else, it's you pushing yourself to do something.

7. Get another app that tracks your distance and time.  Although it can be dispiriting to hear "Time 20 minutes; distance 2.08km; time per kilometre 10.04 minutes".  Shouting FUCK OFF at the top off your voice can help at these points.  NB.  Do not do this when there are people around, unless you don't mind being looked strangely.

8. Buy expensive trainers and work out how much they are costing you per run.  Mine are now only £11 per run.  Buy cheap running clothes.

9. If you don't feel like doing it, don't do it.  It's not compulsory.

10. If you do like it, don't stop.  From looking at the photos of friends of mine who run, I don't think it ever gets easy, but it does get more enjoyable.  I'm actually starting to like it now, and I'm starting to call myself a runner.  Only in my head, but that's where it counts the most. 

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