However since joining the new gym last year and becoming a proper “gym goer” (i.e. someone who actually turns up regularly to the gym, rather than someone who pays someone £20 a month for no reason) my stamina has slowly improved. And since losing the weight, my knee seems miraculously better – frightening proof of how much just a few extra stone can affect your joints.
And so came my decision that I would run a 5km race this year.
The reasons were few but nevertheless important;
1) Just something to do
2) Get over my fear of running – I am not still the same awkward teenager who would want to cry at the prospect of running the 1500m
3) Help maintain my weight loss
I am signed up to the Race for Life in Hull on Sunday 17th July. This is brilliant because not only does it give me something to aim for but it’s absolutely ages away so I have plenty of time to get training.
The only problem?
An all encompassing fear of running in public.
“Nobody’s looking at you!” I hear you say. But hear me. I know that I have seen people running on the streets and said to myself “My god they run weirdly.” Whilst I accept that people might not be as judgemental as me I know I’m not the only one who’s watched someone in lycra jog past and had a giggle to themselves.
I told myself that I would take it in stages. I would keep running on the treadmill until I knew that I could run 5km on that. At that point I would suck it up and take it to the streets because I would have the knowledge in my head that I could do this. And we all know the importance of that positive mental attitude.
I was quite pleased with myself, I had managed to legitimately put off something I was scared of doing. Until...
...This weekend I went to visit The Person (sorry, I just can’t think of a better name for him right now) and took advantage of a “Bring a friend for free” pass to get some running in. I gave him strict instructions to not communicate or even look in my direction whilst we were in there (there are certain times when it is ok for your boyfriend to see you red and sweaty. These times do not include the gym.) and I set myself up on the treadmill.
I started jogging away nicely and thought that I would push myself and aim for 3km, the furthest I would have ever run before.
I jogged and I jogged and I listened to tunes on my I-pod and watched the Coronation Street omnibus on the TV and realised that I was almost at 3km and wasn’t drop down dead tired yet. My problem tends to be that I stop well before I need to, mainly because I get incredibly bored and have to get off – my usual limit is 20 minutes on a treadmill before my brain implodes.
“See if you can make it to 30 minutes” I told myself.
I jogged and I jogged and I realised that I was almost at 30 minutes and that I was well into 4km.
“Might as well keep going then lady. Let’s see what you’ve got.” I told myself (in the style of a Bootcamp leader. A nice one though. Not one that makes you exercise until you vomit).
I jogged and I jogged...
And after 35 minutes and 27 seconds of jogging I ran for 5km. No stopping, no slowing down (and not speeding up either admittedly) just jog, jog, jog.
Cue tumultuous applause. Cue me almost hugging the stranger on the cross trainer next to me. Cue me stumbling across the gym to tell The Person that I’d completed a 5k and why hadn’t he looked at me so I could get his attention so he could come and witness it (contrary? Me?!). Cue a call to my Mum to tell her so she’d be proud of me (she didn’t get it). Cue a status update on Facebook in testament to my triumph. Cue general excitement and feelings of pride.
Until I realised that I don’t have any more excuses and have to go running in public.
Where’s the nearest bush?