You might want to sit down for this. It’s a bit of a shock. I, the three legged donkey have passed running school! I have graduated to the big girls group!
Actually, if you're a runner, that probably won't be too much of a surprise. All my running friends told me I could do it before I signed up, but - and this is why I asked to write a weekly update - I didn't believe them. I thought though, on the off chance that I did manage to finish the course without breaking, that it might be useful for others to read an honest account....because you can't get much worse than a three legged donkey (who, I will admit now, gave up a 30 a day cigarette habit three months ago, so it wasn't just my legs that were the problem - it was my lungs too).
So if you're a beginner, thinking about trying the running course, here are my top three tips:
1) Believe everything the coaches say. If they say you only need one top, not two and a jacket, remove some layers or prepare to melt. When they say you can push yourself that little bit further, you might want to cry, or call them names (sorry, Hazel!), but you can. When something hurts, (with me it was pretty much something new every week. I blame it on age) tell them - they will know what to do. And it will stop hurting.
2) Don't worry about any sort of judgement; there isn't any. It doesn't matter if you're a bit slower, need to stop to catch your breath or need to wee behind a log, I promise you won't see one raised eyebrow from anyone. (Just to be clear, you are left to wee behind the log on your own. There is a limit to how much support anyone needs in that area…)
3) And finally, my big lesson from this week: Remember what time the sessions starts so that you don't turn up 15 minutes late only to discover that everyone hurtled off ages ago. And if you do manage this, don't hurtle off yourself at speeds you've not hit since you were around five. Because there is a reason you warm up and that reason is cramp. And it turns out cramp in both calves is almost enough to make a grown donkey cry...
If you're thinking about the course, I say: do it. Worse case you meet some great people. Best case, you actually enjoy it*!
So there you go: Three legged donkey to one of the big girls in six weeks. I couldn't be prouder of myself, or of all of the beginners who I've run with. Thank you all for being so lovely :o)
*In the interests of 100% honesty, quite a lot of that enjoyment (for me) happens at the end of the run, when you realise how much you have achieved. I’m getting to the point where I am starting to enjoy the actual running though so give me a bit longer and I might be loving every minute of it!
PS: This is my last post for SLJ – thank you Sam, for letting me share my thoughts here. If you would like to keep up with me I blog here: https://thepogblog.me and I have a Facebook page for the blog here: https://www.facebook.com/thepogblog . It would be lovely to see you there for a few smiles :o)