I’ve started running. I’d like to say it’s part of a wider health kick or due to a sudden epiphany about my own mortality, but I’d be lying.
Truth is, a couple of weeks ago I lost a race with Luca. Not a proper race, mind. There was no starting gun, agreed finish line or post race drug test.
And if this sounds like I’m making excuses, I’ve barely even started.
He was wearing his PE kit. I was carrying two school bags and a coat. I gave him a head start and he set off running at ‘get set…’
But as anyone watching will tell you, I wasn’t catching him. If anything he was pulling away. And if I’d dropped the bags, which I did consider doing, it was still highly unlikely I would have won.
So I’ve been shamed into downloading the Couch to 5K app. Again. Last time I downloaded it, it was quickly hidden away in a ‘guilt’ folder, then deleted permanently without me ever getting past the couch stage.
But not this time. I’m already on week two. And despite all my cynicism over whether running can really make you happier, I’m never too proud to admit when I’m wrong. That’s not to say I am happier, far from it, what I am is considerably more miserable than even I expected to be.
I hate it. I hate it before I set off. I hate it during the run. I hate it after I’m finished.
The endorphins that should be setting off fireworks in my brain are nowhere to be seen.
There’s parts of my body screaming ‘what the hell are you doing, stop it!’
I’m the small print on the Nike ‘Just Do It’ adverts. Something along the lines of *not you, fatboy!
I’ve even started drooling over mobility scooters with a level of envy that is anything but healthy.
I assume it’ll get easier, but does it ever become more enjoyable, because right now if I was offered the chance to cash in a few years of my life not to do this I’d take their first offer without even bothering to negotiate.
Given it’s only been a couple of weeks, coupled with my well documented lack of dedication to, well, anything, it may seem a little premature to be writing this post now. But this isn’t meant as a motivational post to shame myself into carrying on. Nor is it a post to refer back to once I’ve achieved my goal.
What I’m doing is writing my own epitaph. Because when I’m found collapsed in the park in a pool of my own misery, it should read that I died doing what I love. Not the running, obviously, but grumbling about it.
Now I think about it, this might also explain what happened to my endorphins. Maybe they were on track to my brain only to take a replacement bus service out of my mouth in the form of a series of expletives that have no place on a family friendly blog?
I’ll not be updating my progress on social media with distances and times. Not just because I hate reading that kind of self-congratulatory gubbins as much as the next person sat on the sofa eating malteasers, but because statistically I’m closer to running a five-minute mile if I didn’t leave the house.
But you will know how I’ve done in a few weeks time, because Luca has challenged me to a proper race. Free of luggage and excuses. And when I win, which I will, you can be damn sure it’ll be all over my social media, and quite possibly a
blog post series of blog posts, too.