Inspired by tales of Women (and Men)doing inspirational things, like running lots of miles to raise money for charity, and motivated by a huge desire to give up smoking...this week I decided to take up running.
I'm old, and half knackered, my joints ache a lot these days, and my legs are no longer as shapely as they once were - but after seeing the sizes, shapes and ages of some people who run around here, I figured that running is not a sport with boundaries!!!
Because I never do anything by halves, Tuesday lunchtime saw me traipsing round Kingston trying to purchase a pair of proper running shoes. JJB Sports is crap (actually a fashion store ...?....for chavs!!!!) and John Lewis' sports department left a lot to be desired.
Deflated I went back to the office with the wind knocked out of my sails. But my friend Issy told me about a shop called "Swetty Betty" which specialises in running gear for ladies (I'm a lady?) So off we went again...and one hour laterI was the proud owner of some lovely comfy shoes, a pair of funky black shorts, a nice little white vest top and two pink sweatbands...altogether a rather natty ensemble. The woman in the shop was lovely and very helpful, and she didn't smirk once!
That evening after the sun had cooled off I went. Strapped my ipod to my arm and found some Aerosmith tracks to run to ("Love in an Elevator" is quite motivational!) I did about a mile, and must confess I had to stop and walk a couple of times - oh alright - about six times, but as I ran past the Tennis Club I held my head up high and tried to look as if I had been doing this for ages. There were other people out running, and they all waved and nodded at me as we passed each other on the road - very friendly lot these runners!!! Every time I saw someone running towards me I had to make myself keep going. When I got home I collapsed on the sofa in a sweaty jumbled heap, and then drank about a gallon of water.
I wasn't quite sure if there are any techniques involved - as in - a proper way to move my legs, or a correct way to swing my arms, or even how to breathe properly (I did remember to keep breathing!)
The next day I was expecting to be in a lot of pain, and my legs hurt a bit - but by day two I had turned into Douglas Bader. I couldn't get out of bed, struggled to climb into the shower, and steps or stairs were a complete No - No.
It has taken me three days to recover, but undeterred, last night I went again and this time Dan accompanied me on a push bike. She kept laughing at me (charming...I'm your mother!!), and I must be improving because this time I only had to stop and walk three times.
So I shall keep going, and perhaps soon I will be able to do the whole mile without stopping!!!!