SINCE announcing my foolhardy intentions I have been inundated with helpful advice – non running friends in particular are full of it.
But to be honest I am really grateful to everyone who has emailed, texted, called, sent me anonymous letters, or enrolled me in self help groups along the lines of ‘managing middle aged madness'.
I particularly enjoyed the gift from Caroline, a serious runner already; she brought round a great book on learning to run, with tons of useful information in, and a 500g bar of Dairy Milk! Now that’s my kind of friendship.
But if there has been a recurring theme to peoples’ comments it's been along the lines of:
1. Invest in proper running shoes
2. Invest in a decent sports bra
3. Invest in proper running shoes
4. Invest in a decent sports bra
5. Invest in proper ... well, you get the idea!
I had rather hoped to put off buying both until I was a little further into my training programme but I had to rethink my ideas after my first week of being a 'marathonist' (Which makes me wonder, am I actually a marathonist right now, merely by having entered one, or must I wait until I have actually crossed over the finish line before I can claim that glorious accolade?)
It was the embarrassment of the ‘slap’ that forced the issue.
I have to admit I found the 'slap, slap' clapping as I ran quite off-putting.
God only knows what the people I ran past thought it was, but I don’t think they were at all convinced by me bringing my hands together, as if I were secretly applauding my prowess at running a whole lampost to lampost section!
For those of you who watch Miranda you will know what I refer to by the 'slap'.
Well I was not suffering just one, solitary slap as I moved, but alternating, one side at a time; wilfully and totally out of time with my own feet’s rhythm.
It’s as if my knockers had gone off to an Evangalistical choir meeting and were enthusiastically leading the crowd with a happy clappy singalong!
It was so loud that it made people jump. Neighbourhood dogs were howling thinking there was a nearby thunderstorm.
And yes, I was already wearing a sports bra - in fact they were double bagged - but it was fairly obvious those babies were going to need putting in their place and soon!
Lots of friends had recommended The Derby Runner in Spondon, and so it was that last Friday evening I crossed that final threshold into the dark art of running and sheepishly explained my predicament.
Now, to be fair to the lovely staff there not one of them broke down with laughter, nor rolled around the floor, in fact they didn’t even raise a slightly ironic eyebrow! For that I am eternally grateful.
So it seems for the last however many years that I have been wearing grown up shoes I have been squeezing into ones way too small.
I thought I was a size eight. In fact I’m a size 10.
Freya, who was helping me get everything I needed, was incredibly helpful.
She made me stand barefooted in front of her to evaluate my footprint, and it seems my arches have fallen and I needed extra support in my shoes.
I solemnly replied that at my age it wasn’t just my arches that had fallen ... and that’s how we moved onto the problem of finding a strong enough sports bra to cope with the task at hand.
I’m not telling you the size I ended up buying, suffice it to say that if my shoes were two sizes too small then my bras were equally ill fitting!
I had a good look round the rest of the shop, fingering the soft and oh so silky tops like a perverted nylon fetish freak, but resisted the urge to deck myself out in full running kit – I hate the idea of looking like the prat with all the gear and none of the ability.
I was, however, tempted by a Garmin GPS watch.
It’s incredibly motivating to analyse the stats after a training run – even if I only have four so far to look at!
I know this will help me when I am feeling demotivated.
Even now I can look and see that I am getting better. Slightly better.
I mean ever so, just a tiny, wee, titchy bit, like 1 whole second faster, better ... but still better!
So that’s it – I now actually look the part and dress like a real runner. (I still don’t like those running tights though – Max Wall eat your heart out, there’s a new set of bandy legs in town!)
1 Sept 2pm 2.03 miles 26 minutes 50. Pace 13.07 min/mile Windy and cloudy 59*
3 Sept 6pm 2.02 miles 25 minutes 52. Pace 12.56 min/mile Sunshine 72*
4 Sept 6pm 1.92 miles 24 minutes 43. Pace 12.54 min/mile Cloudy 79*
6 Sept 6pm 1.98 miles 24 minutes 05. Pace 12.44 min/mile Rainy 55*
And now, the plea – if you are enjoying the blog please don’t forget I still need to raise funds too. Even just a couple of quid will soon add up and get me to my target of £2,000 for the British Heart Foundation:
I’ve made it really easy to do:
Text CAZS47 and amount to 70070 eg CAZS47 £5
Donate on line at http://www.justgiving.com/cascita
NEXT WEEK’S BLOG – You’ve got to listen to your body…..