I woke up on Monday at 5.30 am and decided to go for a run. The last time I did that was 16 years, four children and several dress sizes ago.
I did lie there and contemplate the pros and cons for a while, before putting on a deeply unattractive tattered t-shirt and ancient sweatpants combination…
1 – Lose weight and fit into my clothes again, as everything is getting too small and I am NOT going up another size. There’s only so long you can use the ‘I just had a baby’ excuse, and I think I’ve exhausted it.
2 – Get healthy – a big one, this, given that my dad died in 2006 at only 55 from a heart attack completely out of nowhere. Plus I’ve recently been diagnosed as having raised cholesterol, and exercise helps to lower it.
3 – Provide a positive role model for my children, who currently see me as a glorified chef/servant combo. Plus I don’t want Verity, who is 9, to see me dieting and think that’s the way women live. There’s enough of that about already.
4 – Time out away from said children, much as I love them. Running is a guilt free way of escaping for a while from the chaos of life with children.
5 – Lovely new clothes, she said vainly.
6 – A self esteem boost. The joy of running is you are only competing against yourself (unless you’re Christine Ohuruogu, obviously).
7 – It’s good for controlling asthma, and mine is getting worse.
1 – It hurts, if I remember rightly.
2 – Oh yes, and I have to run through the village looking like Mrs Blobby in a tracksuit.
3 – Um.
4 – Er…
5 – And that was that. I couldn’t think of any other reasons not to, but I could think of heaps of reasons why it would be A Good Thing.
So I put on my ancient – we’re talking 8 year old – trainers and trotted forth, thinking I’d run to the next village and back, because that was only 2 miles or so. Unfortunately by the time I’d run for 30 seconds I thought a lung was about to burst forth out of my chest and make for home. Note to self: ensure that you have inhaler before running anywhere. So I walked 50 yards, then had a little sit down on a handy bench. Then I ran for another 20 seconds, turned around and walked home, chest heaving and feeling like I was about to die, but also quite looking forward to doing it again sometime soon. It really is true about runners being masochists, isn’t it?