Not all of you will know this, but I am a runner.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to evangelise about running. I’m not going to tell you about my mile time (embarrassingly slow), I’m not going to tell you about all the races I’ve entered (none so far, not looking likely to change).
I might just tell you a tiny bit about it, though.
I took up running about three years ago, maybe a bit longer. I was feeling unfit, unhealthy, and suddenly got paranoid about heart disease and dying alone being eaten by cats. DG (my other half) volunteered to take me out and train me, and as he’s an experienced runner, I said yes.
After the third ‘just run to this tree, oh no, I didn’t mean this one, I meant that one’ I fired him. I found the NHS Couch to 5k podcast. I discovered RunKeeper. At some point I discovered Fitocracy and that was that.
I kind of bobbled along, but running never really stuck until I was working on my Masters dissertation. It was nice to start my day with something that, even if it went badly, could still be spun as A Positive Thing. I might spend the rest of the day weeping into my keyboard, staring at a blank screen, but at least I’d done something good for my body.
Running in Birmingham was fun. There’s a surprising amount of green around.
My finest moments came after dark. I distinctly remember one evening, listening to the Dark Knight soundtrack, hitting the ‘sprint’ section of the training program and belting along with my arms outspread yelling ‘I AM THE BATMAN’. The road was not deserted. I have no shame.
Brighton, though, I tend to see at dawn.
I spend half my time running along with a dopey grin on my face because it’s so pretty. That’s when I’m not chortling at a comedy podcast, or gritting my teeth as I try to run directly into a ‘bracing’ sea ‘breeze’. Sometimes, if I come across a flock of seagulls and pigeons devouring trash from the promenade, I run into the middle of them, throw my hands in the air and yell FLY, MY PRETTIES.
I go a bit mad when I run.
Last week, actually, I had my favourite experience ever. A big shaggy dog, fresh from the sea, lolloped up to me just as I was turning round to start the homeward trot. “Hello, dogface” I said, my standard greeting for every single dog that comes within a hundred paces. It then ran alongside me for a few paces, accepted an ear-scritch, then disappeared back off to its owners. Made my run. Week. Hell, probably month.
Today, I ran six miles. I have new shoes. I have Dark Knight on the playlist again (NaNo is coming). It was a glorious day and I have such a runner’s high I can barely sit down.
Totally worth it.