And so it starts here…

Posted: 31/10/2011 in Journal, Running

So, I’ve decided to do a bit of running. Well, not quite, I’ve decided to become a runner.

Why? I’m nearly forty, I have a rubbish diet and I get so little exercise that I think I don’t even do enough to qualify as ‘unfit’. I’m more in the category of ‘unmoving’. Overweight, I spend all day in a chair in an office, and most of the evening in a chair at home. So, a little bit of improvement will be a good thing.

I’ve never considered myself to be a runner, not ever. In fact, I’ve considered myself to be an anti-runner, as far away from a runner as you can get and still have the capacity to run. At school, we used to have a once-a-term two mile run, and I looked forward to it with absolute horror. I used to wish I had asthma, as the asthmatic kids could get away with not running. But no such luck, I had to tramp around a playing field, inevitably coming in pretty much last, and spend the rest of the day feeling like I was about to die.

I tried running once about eight years ago, when I lived in the Scottish Borders – we lived in the middle of nowhere, and there was a country lane out the front of the house. Perfect, and for maybe a week I kept it up before something (can’t remember what) stopped me and that was it, never again.

Armed with some shoes, shorts and a clever app for my iPhone, I plan to try the 13 Week Beginning Runner’s programme – it sounds OK, though only time will tell.

Yesterday was run #1, walk for four and a half minutes, then run for thirty seconds. Repeat seven times and that’s it. I was surprised by a number of things:

  • I didn’t die – that was a bit of a major shock
  • I managed to complete the session
  • I couldn’t hear my chatty iPhone app, so I had to hold onto it and watch the interval timer – a recipe for disaster in so many ways
  • I didn’t feel like a hippo in the short running bits – that was good
  • I came pretty close to enjoying it – yes, you read that right
  • I want to do the second session of the week right now – but I figure give it a day, less chance of wrenching a leg off

I bought some swanky headphones – they sit in and over your ears, and across the back of your neck. The reviews say they’re impossible to shake off. I intend to prove them right. The packaging gleefully tells me the cable is sheathed in kevlar – no-one said I’d be getting shot at, but what the heck, if it comes to it I’ll be glad of the added protection.

The book that I have suggests keeping a diary of how it was for you when you’ve had a run. Fair enough, but I’ll lose a diary, so that’s part of the point of this blog – the agonising (or hopefully not) details. To whit…

  • The sole of my left foot ached while I was running – nothing major, but it was a bit of a pain (oh Lord, hope you didn’t think I was making a joke there)
  • Afterwards, my calves we on fire – put that one down to their general surprise at being put to use
  • Later, that faded, but my thighs, especially the bits above my knees were a bit ouch, and are still a bit like that today. Not enough to be a worry, but again, I think they’re rebelling against the unfair usage
  • My back doesn’t hurt. Now I would have put that down as number one likely ache, but it didn’t happen. Hurrah!

Look, ma, I’m running!

Indicators (using the GREEN, YELLOW, ORANGE, RED, BLACK terminology):

  • Preparedness: GREEN
  • Motivation: GREEN
  • Ability: ORANGE
  • Aches: YELLOW
  • Fitness: BLACK
  1. Well done! I can empathise with a lot of what you are saying. When I’ve run in the past I have always just, well run…until I feel my lungs will explode and that puts me off. I will have to get the app – it sounds really good. I guess the objective is to switch the balance so you are doing more running than walking eventually. I think some before and after pics in said shorts would be good!

    • Thank you! The plan seems to lull you into a false sense of security by going 4:30/0:30 walk/run to 4:00/1:00 and so on, then sneakily adds an extra minute, all of which is running. The swine! On the photo font, I’ll get ’round to it, but haven’t been in my kit today – probably pre-run tomorrow, or post-run if I’m feeling like I want sympathy…

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