I always swore that I would never run for pleasure. Always. I couldn’t see the point of artificially raising my heart rate for no good reason. I used to snigger at the people plodding down the road, moving slower than I walk and call it “running”. To those people I wholeheartedly apologise. Why? Because I get it. I really do.
So, what changed? How the hell did I (a person very attached to the sofa) suddenly realise that running is the best feeling ever?
Last summer I was chatting with a very good friend and we got onto the subject of his recent participation in a parkrun. Like a fool I mentioned that doing one might be nice but I would never manage 5K running. Then he said the words:
Google for Couch to 5K
There it was. Like I do with everything, I thought about it for a couple of weeks, ordered some running shorts and a top from Amazon and tried it. I got no further than halfway through the first exercise before I ran out of breath. I felt HORRIBLE. I went to the doctor and she diagnosed asthma. Ok, no running for me then.
Wrong. It had been in the depths of my mind that I wasn’t going to let it beat me. Asthma or the C25K programme. I wanted another attempt. That attempt happened Monday 8 May 2017:
There it is. Week 1 Run 1 in the bag.
Run for 60 seconds, walk for 90 seconds. Repeat seven times.
All in the company of the most excellent Jo Whiley guiding me along.
I ran on grass, I walked on grass, lapped my wife who was walking the dog, and I actually completed the session.
I felt fantastic!
Two more like that and week one was done. A rest day between runs means that it’s easy to run Mon/Wed/Fri and have Saturday and Sunday off. Runs two and three were in the rain and on wet grass. I vowed not to run on wet grass again if I can help it, my feet were soaked. Running shoes aren’t known for their waterproofing. Especially the cheap ones!
I bought a cheap pair of Adidas running shoes and they are for running only, I will not use them for leisure wear. They are doing the job so far but if this becomes a long term obsession (which I think it will) then I will need to get to a running shop, get my gait analysed and purchase some better fitting shoes.
Week two came around quickly enough and even extending to 90 seconds run, two minutes walk I was still smiling (unforced!) at the end of the session. I ran a road route rather than round the park this week and although it’s harder on the joints, it’s less boring that running round the park, there’s more to look at.
Distance and speed aren’t great at the moment, but that’s not important. It’s time that’s important right now and I am doing it. And really, really enjoying it!
The final run of week two is today and I have made the decision to head for the beach and run down the prom. As I write this the wind is picking up and we have had a few spots of rain. Nothing tragic though and I am actually enjoying running in the wet. That may well change though!
Wish me luck, if you don’t hear from me again then you know it didn’t go well and my running shoes are now fishing weights…