I am writing this fresh from ‘going for a run’. When I say fresh, I mean fresh – I’m slightly moist and clammy and my intergluteal cleft will be leaving a damp patch on the chair. This wasn’t just any old run though. It was my first ever run in what have been 35 pedestrian years of life.
When I say I’ve been for a run, I ought to qualify that. What I’ve actually done is embark on the NHS’s Couch to 5k regime. The website describes it as follows: the “C25K plan is designed to get just about anyone off the couch and running 5km in nine weeks.” I’m delighted that I have proved myself to be “just about anyone” – for me that’s practically an Olympic gold medal – and not someone whose arse has become truly and irreversibly melded to the couch.
I’m not ashamed to admit it was touch and go though. I’ve been thinking about dusting off the trainers for a good couple of weeks after hearing of a friend’s success with C25K (I even downloaded the podcasts a week ago) but I then made polite excuses and slowly sank deeper into the sofa. I was too tired. I was too hungry. I’d got flat feet (but then someone told me that Linford Christie has too – sigh). There might be a nuclear holocaust whilst I was out and I really ought to be at home near my kids.
And so tonight I at last struggled into my industrial strength sports bra (I’m not bragging – to be honest it’s not entirely needed and any post-breastfeeding mother will testify to the inevitable disappointment in that area). I was a little out of puff after getting the bra on and that really didn’t bode well. Yet I got out the door (having also added tracksuit bottoms and a t-shirt to the sports bra in case you were wondering) and returned having run for a whole EIGHT MINUTES. Okay, so it was 60 seconds of running followed by 90 seconds of brisk walking but it was still eight minutes. Yay for me and all the couch tatties in the world! (Hell’s bells, I’m pooped though.)
I’m measuring the success of this run on four important criteria:
- Did my pelvic floor hold out? YES (I didn’t stray far from home just in case …)
- Did I trip over any uneven pavement and knock my front teeth out? NO
- Was I chased by any dogs? NO
- Did anyone see me? NO. Well apart from one elderly man who I waved at so as to disguise my lack of style. And what better way to make it look like I wasn’t running like a girl than by flapping my arms?
I’d tentatively say that tonight was a success. I’ll never be a runner, nor will I be kitting myself out in lycra or getting ‘in the zone’ as I thunder around the local recreation ground dodging the dog muck. But as with any sporting achievement for the girl who was always picked last in PE, it can only be good for me.