The makings of a reluctant runner

How do you get from nowhere to being a half marathon smashing dickhead? A bit like this, since you ask…

Age 12, cross country running on Wednesday afternoons at school… 

Be sure to go to a school on top of a barren, windswept Derbyshire hill where the ‘cross country’ route actually feels like you are crossing the actual entire country, one miserable step at a time. Bonus points if your parents are too tight to provide you with ‘PE tracksuit bottoms’ so you have to run through the biting winter wind in nothing more than a comically short netball skirt. One week, forget to bring even this, and be forced to run it in those probably illegal by now waist high navy blue PE knickers. Bad times.

Be so awful at running that you can’t even make one lap around the course without walking. Walk. Most of it. Miss every subsequent Wednesday afternoon lesson as you are forced to complete the course “no matter how long it takes”. Compare notes with your friend Connie at the end on who has the bluest dead legs.

Every year from aged 12 – 25…

Consider running “for fun” as some unholy torture suitable only for “other people”. Never do it. (Apart from that one time you convinced your then-boyfriend, violently against his will, to do an army style Boot Camp, then felt it would be churlish to cry and give up before he did, which he unfortunately, didn’t.)

Age 26 (pre-children)…

Sign up for a 5k race for life. Download couch to 5k training plan. Week 1 is something like run for twenty paces, walk for twenty minutes. I consider this still pretty taxing actually, but do it anyway. Stick to the training plan with over-zealous mania bordering on the religious.

Become wild with joy the first time you run for  TEN WHOLE MINUTES without stopping. This is about a mile. This seems like ridiculously far for a human to travel, unassisted. Be sure to tell every last person you meet about your PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWER.

Complete the race, (Silverstone racetrack, chosen specifically for being as flat as a pancake because I’m not an idiot) sprint finish in a blaze of glory. Celebrate with an athlete’s pint or seven. #Winning.

Ages 29-33

Ruin every last part of your body by growing, birthing and breastfeeding two giant human babies. Weep with hysterical laughter at the thought of ever running anywhere ever again without either pissing yourself or knocking yourself out with your own tits.

Mid Thirties

Decide to Get Back On It. Publicly declare intention to one day run a half marathon. (Half, because – DON’T AIM TOO HIGH!!!) Train for and bang out a couple of actually not that bad 5k races. Find new running buddy who convinces you to enter a 10k, and probably regrets it after you are sick on her halfway round. Recover from the shame, write all about it, block it from your mind and eventually brave another 10k, this time dressed as Santa, because nothing says ‘effortless athletic prowess’ like a fat bearded man dressed head to toe in flammable red nylon fur. Smash this one out of the park.

January 2017

Eschewing idiotic notions like ‘dry January’ get drunk on red wine one evening and quickly sign up for the Milton Keynes Half Marathon before you sober up and change your mind. Pay for the privilege and then start panicking because is it even legal to attempt to run at all when you’ve eaten this much cheese in December? What if the shockwaves from my thundering arse cause some kind of global catastrophe? Console self with the thought that the Trump administration seem to be taking care of that one pretty well all by themselves, and resolve to start training. Soon.

Realise that running four times a week IS actually possible if you stop doing all that other important stuff you used to do in the evenings like eating hummus whilst watching TV then going to bed. Bore everyone you know to tears with the stock response to the question of ‘Doing anything nice this weekend?’ with “GOING FOR A  *insert horrific distance* RUN UNTIL MY BRAIN HURTS AND MY KNEES BLEED” or similar. Repeat until you’re sick, and people stop asking.

I’m up to 9 miles so far. 5 weeks to go. Lordy lord. It’s hard, but it’s good.

So there you have it – it IS possible to become that other person you sometimes never thought you could be. I have to concede that seeing as today I actually saw some ‘energy gels’ in Lidl and rather than thinking THOSE ARE FOR WANKERS, well – I bought four didn’t I. Because I am a Real Runner now. Admittedly, I’m probably still a wanker too, but just one with better legs and more sports accessories than before. I even bought a bloody visor last week, so that’s the sort of dickhead I am now. I’ve accepted this.

By ungodly coincidence, it turns out that nearly everyone else I know has also signed up for a challenge, but they’re all doing a Real Man’s Full Fat Marathon, and are pissing all over my chips by gently knocking out 18-milers before school pick up, but there you go. I’m not in this for the win. My goal is simply to neither be sick nor die on the course, and as an optional side effect, possibly achieve the svelte athletic grace of a teenage supermodel whilst attempting it. So, ever the realist.

Any tips, advice, tactics and ways to manage the crushing boredom of hearing nothing but my own footsteps and breathing for hours on end are most welcome – comment below, or on my facebook page or twitter (or instagram, but I don’t think there’s a filter on earth which could undo the shade of puce my face goes after exercise, so it’s unlikely to feature there tbh. Sexy ass pictures only etc.)

And if I DO die, could somebody please pause my Strava?


If you like this, you might also like to read about my:

UNHOLY SPORTING PROWESS at The Suffering muddy race challenge at Rockingham Castle; or

That Time I Vommed on Jenny Around Kilometre Eight; or

Perhaps you’re just into murdering, sordid affairs and dogging? Caravan for sale….


9 Comments Add yours

  1. Oh. My. Goodness. I want to MARRY this post!

    So, I too have become a bit of a running wanker lately. I used to be the kid who forged a Mum note on long distance run day, and now I actually choose to run in the very little free time I have. What have we become?

    I too have signed up for my first proper running shindgig – a mere 10 K so I salute your half-marathon aspiratons… You may have just inspired my next goal post.

    Okay better go before I write an entire blog post in your comments field 😉 GOOD LUCK! Oh, and thanks for linking to #coolmumclub

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lindsay says:

      Haha brilliant! Yes GET ON with the 10k! I might put #runningwanker on my t-shirt?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You must. I have a top that says ‘I Hate Running’, but Running Wanker by far exceeds that 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  2. mumandstuff says:

    Any post with ‘dick head’ in the opening line is a winner – I’m not a running wanker. I tried really hard about 5 years ago, with a good running partner/trainer. But the weather had a real impact on my ability to leave the house.
    Run Forest Run!!! You’ll smash that half marathon and be booking into a full marathon in no time! Also, if you do decide to launch a range of ‘Running Wanker’ t-shirts I may buy one and start running just for the fun of running in it! x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lindsay says:

      Ha! There’s no such thing as bad weather only inappropriate clothing, as I have been want to utter from time to time! Weirdly, once I’m actually out in the rain/hail/snow/storm Doris/whatever, I actually don’t mind it, it makes me feel a bit like a double hard bastard when the sleet is so hard it makes your face hurt. That, and prevents me overheating. Thanks for the encouragement, and I’d say give it another go on the running front, especially now the clocks will go forward so it will be light enough to see where you are without wearing a bloody head torch

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Anonymous says:

    ……I will stop strava for you if it goes tits up, only if you promise to carry me when my knee explodes ?


  4. tootingmamat says:

    I now go running with my dog. Before running with fellow mums. Company is good motivator you won’t let your mates down! A good playlist? Have you joined run mummy run on facebook they are awesome! Keep going you are doing amazing! #coolmumsclub!


  5. babbitman says:

    I loved running as a kid but the last proper long run I did was when I was about 13, finishing 10th in our year’s annual cross country race. A top ten finish? Right, that’s me done, a bed of laurels for me to rest on, thank you very much.
    Still did lots of running whilst playing football but in my 30s & 40s I suffered some knee damage so even that has stopped now. But I never really “got” the idea of running for fun as an adult and it seems incredibly weird how most of the people I know who are now posting their sweaty exploits on Facebook were the most incompetent athletes at school. One of the bastards has even written a book about how he became an Ironman (a triathlete, not an Avenger). He redeems himself by making it funny and full of bad language. You’d love it. 🙂


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