|An artist’s depiction of me mid-run.
Let me just be clear from the outset, I despise running. I’m not averse to pegging it after a bus, or chasing a ball around a football field, but to my mind running in those cases is part of something, a means to an end. But, running from point A to point B, and turning back again? Taxi!
Be that as it may, I’ve heard tell that it’s quite beneficial in the whole health and fitness area, so yesterday I made a late New Year’s resolution to get out there and start pounding the pavement. My housemate decided he’d do the same, which led us to the events of yesterday evening…
Now, Blue Monday may not have been the best day to start a New Year’s resolution, but by the end of our exertions it was certainly apt in my case, as my face had turned blue from a combination of the cold and the lack of oxygen.
In the little research I did yesterday afternoon before we set off, I was led to understand that your warm-up is crucial. I probably should have read on, because I’m starting to feel that the running website didn’t mean stand in front of the fire for 5 minutes before you set off.
Apparently, it’s also important to have your route clearly mapped out in your head before you set off. Visualisation technique and all that. Ha! Not so for myself and my housemate. We walked out the door, shrugged our shoulders and set off towards Salthill. I for one was convinced Salthill was a mere 2km from our house near Sally Longs pub, but having checked it post-run, it turns out to be 4. Which means the nice easy distance we thought we were undertaking was actually doubled. An 8k run probably isn’t the recommended starting point for a fitness programme!
The first leg of the run was unproblematic. We flew along the river path as far as Spanish Arch. I kept thinking, “This ain’t so bad!”. We stopped for some stretches. My housemate actually did some. I shadowboxed. We set off again, and suddenly it was as if I was sliding backwards. My housemate was getting further and further away from me. He reached Knocknacarra a good minute or two before I did. He stopped to “stretch again”, but I think he was just concerned that I had fallen down a hole or had turned around and went home. Both were viable in fairness.
I sat down for a second after stretching. Not recommended. It was hard to get back up. When we pushed off again, it was the same story. My housemate was off like a bullet and I was left picking my way through the crowds of people out walking and jogging. I thought to myself, “Pah! New Year’s resolution saps! The weak among ye will be weeded out within weeks”. And then, “What excuse can I give my housemate so I never have to do this again?”
My housemate was out of sight at this stage. He smokes. Passing the aquarium I found myself wishing I smoked so I could have an excuse for my abysmal run. I was actually making involuntary yelping noises the last 5oo metres. A pack of stray dogs was following me, thinking I was a bitch in heat. Down by the famous diving board I caught up with my housemate. Well, by catching up with him I mean he’d stopped. He’d been there two minutes and was ready to go again. No Saving Private Ryan heroics here, I told him to head on home, I needed a breather. Being honest, I needed an oxygen tank.
|Smug, gloating little….
Now you might not believe me, but I tried to run a fast time home. I really did. But there was a young girl, maybe 9 years old, who passed me out. And passing me out wasn’t enough for this sadistic jezebel, oh no! She ran on a few hundred metres, stopped to “tie her laces” until I had passed her out again. Then when I had gone on a few hundred metres, she’d sail past me again. Kids these days… Out running when they could be eating fast food or playing computer games.
Somewhere along the way home, I passed a kindred spirit. There was a dog who sounded like he was coughing up a hairball. He looked like how I felt.
I power walked the last 500 metres home. Power here is a relative term. The alternative was standby mode, where I’d just plonk myself on the nearest convenient bench and hail a taxi.
My housemate had showered and eaten by the time I fell in the door.
And the mental thing is that I plan to do it all again tomorrow. Turns out running is addictive!
Note: This article would have been written last night, but my laptop was upstairs in my room, and after the run, stairs were an issue. I slept on the couch.
photos: wikimedia commons