I hate running. Running just isn’t my thing. Sure, I have gone for runs when trying to get fit but as I live just outside of Bodmin Moor, there are damned hills everywhere. You can’t go more than a minute before you hit an incline. As soon as I see a sign for an incline, I bow down to its superiority and meekly reduce the pace to a walk. Once an incline is conquered, I jog, until the next one. This makes me not a runner, but a jogger/walker or a jalker or wogger if you prefer?
Another reason, (apart from my size and shape), as to why I am incompatible with running is that I have nobody to talk to and even if I had a running buddy, I would be so out of breath I wouldn’t be able to chat with them anyway. When we do a warm-up around the pitch before hockey, I get all my questions and conversation into the first bit, knowing I will be out of puff by half way.
So, off I went with a head full of grumbling resentment and pessimism about my next challenge of going for a dreaded run with East Cornwall Harriers. I was met by an array of different Karens, who in turn welcomed me. We were split into three different groups; one for runners, one for joggers and one for social/beginner runners. The last group was explained as slow jogging and walking with a lot of nattering. Yes, I was with the Woggers!
I was still unconvinced that I would be able to keep up, but Debs explained she was in the same boat as me and not to worry. Off we went, around the town of Liskeard. The pace was slow and very manageable but then on reflection, it was completely downhill at that point. I managed to get my nattering in without losing too much breath and was feeling OK. In this case, what goes down inevitably had to go up but as soon as we hit the incline, we walked. Apparently, running doesn’t get in the way of the chatting. Fantastic.
It was a beautiful evening as we jalked our way back to the start. I asked questions about running in general and Amanda told me there were a lot of social runners in the club, and not everyone wanted to run fast. Again, I definitely felt happier running in a group and would certainly be more motivated to go for a run if I was meeting people and running at a manageable pace together.
As we neared the end, I asked how far we had gone and the reply was “about 4.” I didn’t ask for clarification if that was 4 miles or 4 kilometres. To me, I had done a solid 4 miles. At the end, I felt refreshed and invigorated, and my legs ached slightly in recognition of my efforts.
There is a lot written about how to run and why to run in the first place. Running, like any sport, is not elitist. If you can run and you want to run, no matter what size or shape, you can just run. Like anything, I guess the first hurdle is just trying. If you do feel a bit self-conscious or that it’s something you can’t do, I came across a site called Too Fat Too Run, which gives great advice and motivation to people who aren’t sure. As for me, I have firmly put running clubs in my “After the Challenge” list. Although I’m worried that this is filling up quite rapidly and I’m not even a third of the way through - it joins sea swimming, yoga, cricket and badminton. I would hate to think I’m not going to come across anything else which I want to continue, but at the moment the list is getting out of hand!
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