New Year, new me and all that shite. Every time you turn around in the supermarket at the moment there is a shelf of weight loss special offers, magazines screaming at you about how fat and horrible you look compared to the photoshopped image on the front and endless dross about getting to the gym, starting fitness classes and, my personal favourite, running.
I started marathon training in November. Okay, When I say marathon training I mean huffing and puffing a couple of miles with the hope that eventually I might get fit enough to not weep uncontrollably at the thought of running for 26 and a bit miles.
A couple of months in and I've even made it as far as 4 miles in one go. Go me!
So I'm far from being an expert. But even my few months of, let's face it, jogging have taught me a thing or two about running that these annoying magazines never seem to mention between all their rhetoric about how great you will feel and how thin you will be and urgh, have you even looked at yourself in the mirror lately? How can anyone take anything you say seriously when it's attached to a body like that?
1. Running hurts. They seems to skip that bit entirely when they are holding court about how bloody good for you it is. I'm telling you now, you will never be able to walk up stairs like a normal person again. Nor get off the toilet or a low chair without groaning. Running hurts.
2. No amount of stretching stops the hurt. I know you were thinking it, 'she clearly isn't stretching properly'. I stretch and I stretch and I stretch. My calves still feel as though someone has poured concrete in them for vast chunks of the day. And that's the least of my worries: see #3.
3. Chaffing. Oh God the chaffing. I know I said running hurts, and it does. In many more ways that you could ever have imagined. There's the almost constant muscle pain, and the blisters you get running through puddles and having wet trainers on your feet for the next 3 miles and then the fact that your clothes will suddenly half way through a run, change texture from nice, soft cotton to being made from rusty razor blades and barbed wire.
I haven't felt the need to get out a hand mirror and inspect my lady bits since the months following child birth. Last week I did it after a run to inspect the awful chaffing where my knicker elastic seemed suddenly intent on embedding itself in the soft skin where groin and thigh meet. See #1.
4. Bananas are evil. Okay, so not exactly closely connected with running and yet, they kinda are. Because EVERYBODY will tell you that you need to start eating bananas for energy or potassium or just cause everybody feels as though they have some sort of right to start telling you how you are doing exercise wrong - there's a lot of that. Only bananas have the texture of baby food and make me want to vomit. I can not physically force myself to swallow a mouth full. I tried. I tried really hard to enjoy one, or just to force one down as I hadn't eaten a banana since I was in school, but no. They still make me heave. Which was a lovely pre-run experience the other week.
5. It doesn't get easier. I mean physically, yes you can run further before you feel like you are about to die and hopefully at some point before next September I will be able to run 26.2 miles before keeling over and wanting to simply not move for a month. But mentally? Oh no. Each and every bloody time I set off, I spend the first 1/2 mile feeling good, and then my legs start to ache. At 1 mile I just want to go home, I mean seriously what is the point of running anyway? At 2 miles it seems utterly impossible that I will ever be able to do a 2 mile warm up like some of the future runs say I should on my training plan never mind be just 2 miles into 26 mile run. And anything after 2 miles is simply a matter of stubbornness over common sense really. The only reason I've got as far as 4 miles is because I'm bloody minded.
Plus I already told people that I'm running a marathon.
In conclusion, running sucks, marathons are stupid and the next person that tells me eat a banana is going to get pelted with them.
Now if you'll excuse me, I need the toilet. It's going to take me about 20 minutes just to lower myself onto the damn thing.