Day 3 – Wednesday
A rest day according to the training schedule. Just as well, my legs feel like they don’t belong to me and almost every other part of my body, with the possible exception of my eyes, aches.
I Google ‘food for runners’ while having a jar of tapenade and a glass of Malbec for dinner. The irony is not lost on me. I run out of crackers and finish off the tapenade with my fingers. I’m sure that’s how they do it on the continent.
N tells me in the morning that I was running in my sleep. I quiz him about how long for, and what kind of pace he thinks I was making as I’m hoping I can add this one to my training total. He complains I kept him awake. Call it payback for 18 years of snoring and dry your eyes, Ginger.
Day 4 – Thursday
I catch sight of myself in the mirror at home in the running tights I bought from Aldi. Grey with pink trim, and the image of a sack of potatoes in a pop sock springs to mind. Running clothing is unfortunately designed for people who already run, who are slim and tall, who like pink and who don’t have lumpy bits or an ass you could serve tea off.
I spend hours trawling websites looking for bargain kit. It all appears to be pink in some form or other, which I hate. I buy it anyway because I don’t really want to look like I’m good, it will only add to the humiliation when people see me rocking up in full Ronhill and managing half a mile before I stop, retching, and cling to a lamp post or passer-by for support.
The fit of the outfit I think is key, too tight, too high-waisted or too warm and I just won’t enjoy the run. I am laughing as write this, imagining a day I will ENJOY a run.
I own several sports bras. None of them fit me properly because I grudge paying a fortune for something quite so ugly, so I have a range of moderately priced, not quite right ones instead. Very much like the rest of my wardrobe. I try them all and decide on the deeply unattractive Triumph ‘Doreen’. Somehow, I’m not sure this is projecting the right amount of positivity. Why aren’t they called Boadecia or Persephone? I would hold my head high, keep my back straight and run a 6 minute mile in a Persephone.
Doreen makes me feel fat and jaded as well as providing me with another set of boobs which appear under my armpits. On the upside she does offer wonderful support, without her help, I’d be tucking them into my (elasticated) waistband.
V and I are having our first training run apart today and well aware that I have no will power or stamina to speak of, I recruit G as a mentor. This does worry me, G is a proper runner who competes in races and appears to do it for….. pleasure? But I know I have to run with someone or I’ll do ten minutes round the block and come home for a bacon sandwich.
I fear I will embarrass myself and I do, having to have her adjust ‘Doreen’ for me mid way through the run.
Day 5 – Friday
Rest day. V is suffering with a calf strain and may not make our run tomorrow. I’m sending positive thoughts of recovery to her. If that doesn’t work, I’ll cry and tell her I can’t do it on my own and hope that guilt works.
I stick in a cheeky swim to try and loosen up my aching muscles. Unfortunately, I arrive just as the high school kids are exiting the pool and skulk past them in the showers, aware that my thighs resemble condoms over-filled with blancmange.
The smell of chips from the cafe is like some kind of torture.
4.30pm Friday rolls around. Generally, I stick my kids in front of Cbeebies – those wholesome twenty-something presenters are the perfect role models and ideal unpaid babysitters – while I pour my first gin. I realise with some degree of horror that I have not had a single gin and tonic for a WEEK! I have had four glasses of wine but one of those was red, so can be chalked up as heart medication.
Aware that we are running and Metafitting tomorrow, I resolve not to start on the gins until N gets back.
After 5 minutes, I text him to make sure he’s already left the office.