What is a time of joy for many women was my darkest hour.
I'm feeling pretty excited about running at the moment, and I can't honestly say why. Team Lagomorph are going on lunchtime runs around Battersea park, which is handily near our office, and it definitely makes a big difference having such a gorgeous setting for our training.
Running along by the river in the glorious sunshine (albeit wearing a hoody and ear warmers to fend off the cold) is a good motivator. It's nice too to be running with other people, and the raging competitive side of me refuses to be the first to say "oof, can we just have a walk for a bit?" even though I am starting to gasp a little bit and would quite like to slow down.
I've realised that I miss being really, vigorously fit, like I was years ago when I was swimming and dancing all the time. I only gave up dancing once I realised I was really, really bad at it - honestly appalling. Sorry Mum, those 10 years of ballet lessons just didn't pay off - I very much do not float like a butterfly, and have since blossomed into the clumsy oaf I am today.
My terrifying ballet teacher who used to frequently reduce me to tears was indubitably right about my below-par releve's. But still, when I was dancing I remember walking along and not a bit of me jiggling. I remember a powerfully flat stomach. I remember....hang on. I actually remember me before puberty. Oh dear.
Anyway, that worrying psychological detour aside, I really am quite excited about running at the moment, and there's only one thing I'm really annoyed about: as of yet the magical running angel still hasn't granted me Hermes' wingéd shoes. I'm just not GOOD at it.
I still genuinely get butterflies in my stomach before every run, not in a sexy way, and a terror that it's just going to be awfully impossible. I don't look forward to going out, and I don't feel like it's getting at all easier.
To further compound this, Boyfriend Felix "the natural born athlete" is flipping loving it, declaring excitedly “I LOVE exercise, I feel GREAT!” with a big beaming smile. He lopes off effortlessly into the distance in long easy bounds as I wheeze pathetically behind. Frankly I am jealous and also scared.
What if I don't ever break through that barrier into the happy-jogger state so many of my friends seem to have reached, and like to scream about on Facebook "SIX HUNDRED MILLION MILES IN ONLY TEN AND A HALF MINUTES, A NEW PERSONAL BEST? YES I AM BITTER, OK?!
What if I just plateaux at this slightly pathetic “Oh why can't I just be reading in a big squishy armchair?” stage of pain and never get better?
Running just hurts. I feel great once it's all over, obviously, and there are a couple of moments when I do seem to get into my stride and enjoy it, but they don't last very long. This week I've only managed 2 runs, which is a poor effort, but I have a good reason for it, I promise:
1st RunA lovely day, and Danielle and I set a comfortable pace together while Felix, predictably, streaks ahead. He arrives back not much later than us, having completed a whole extra mile and a half. He is buzzing and excited, while we're just happy it's all over. We've managed a respectable 3 1/2 miles though, and are feeling confident we'll be up to speed in time for the 10k.
It may not have helped that we stopped on Battersea bridge to take photos of ourselves "pretending to run" of course......But look how awesome I am in my primarni running gear:
2nd RunDisaster has struck! It's a really beautiful day, sunny in that crisp and spring-like way that is such a treat after the prohibition era steel-grey skies and dark afternoons we've been enjoying recently.
We've decided to go for a fairly easy run, as Felix is aching from football the night before (Such a cheat! More than one sort of exercise?! Surely that isn't allowed!) so instead of doing the full loop we just go for a steady 3 miles.
Now, I'm going to say something that sounds like complete nonsense, like I've just made it up as an excuse to sit down all day, sending people scurrying around for me picking up chocolates and sweets and all-round mithering me, but IT'S TRUE. It IS.
I have quite shallow hip joints; it runs in Mum's side of the family. I've never had this verified by a medical practitioner, but Mum told me and she is always a reliable source of information (as a result of one of her pearls of wisdom I thought that "hating" someone was pricking them a thousand times with a pin up until I was really quite old. Thanks Mum).
Anyway, it makes sense in light of what I'm about to tell you – half a mile before the end of the run my hip just......goes. It's just been Felix and I and the pace has been slightly faster than I'm used to, which is good, but then BANG! A sharp pain, and a pull in my hip, and that's it – the run is over.
I limp painfully the rest of the way back, irritated and also worried – I had forgotten that this happens, and am panicking that it's going to happen again on the actual 10k. Also, I know it's really my own fault. I've been putting off buying the supportive insoles for my running shoes that I need, and am now facing the consequences.
For now, unfortunately my training is all a bit up in the air. I’m a bit worried about this, and I really hope my hip doesn’t take too long to sort itself out - I've learnt my lesson though, I'm definitely investing in those insoles now. Why not help my training along, and support an excellent cause, by donating to Livability on my justgiving page or send me some inspirational tweets (and dodgy hip home-remedies) @kirkycheep.