Are You Really Going Out In That?

More stories of spandex. And inappropriate smoking

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IMG_2469Running isn’t for everyone. But if it’s your thing – if you are used to just popping out and running fairly good distances – and then suddenly you can’t anymore… well, it’s hard to explain how that feels

Tonight the towpath beckons and I decide to do a couple of miles. I’m easing myself back in slowly after hurting my ankle back in March. It seems incredible that an injury caused while standing still can have set me so far back

Sadly, this will be the year I hang up the Hawaiian bikinis for good (it probably should have been a few years back!), but even that sturdy and sensible one-piece swimsuit won’t wear itself. So I’d better get on with it before the summer hols

There’s a honeysuckle that stretches along the path by the river, and as I pass it the scent is incredible. I fill my grateful lungs with the perfume, taking a reward for my small discipline this evening and feeling so glad I came out

Breathing is everything. I mean, obviously, because we wouldn’t be alive if not breathing, but also in running terms. It’s easy to put one foot in front of the other but it’s the right breathing that allows you to run. If you can’t match your body’s oxygen requirements you’ll just be exhausted in no time

Of course, there’s an exception to prove most rules:

Norman, a friend and associate in Singapore, is a hard-living heavy drinker who has chain-smoked all his life, but after suffering a heart attack in his late fifties in 2008 he told me he had taken up running on the advice of his doctor. He was fully expecting to hate it. Yet in 2014, while I was injured and had to forego my first ever marathon place at Brighton, he was running regularly and looking forward to his first marathon in Singapore. By the next time we got together for a few drinks a year later he had run two marathons and I was absolutely in awe of him

I asked if the second one was much easier

Norman told me how he had struggled on the second one, but had really enjoyed the first one. He was eating up the miles, he told me, and he only stopped for a cigarette at eight miles, twelve miles and twenty-one miles. I honestly thought he was joking. I didn’t know it was possible for a smoker to run a marathon, let alone to stop for a fag break along the way

I wonder if he stopped for a Scotch too?

As I hit the end of my two and a bit miles I stride out a bit, get a bit of momentum going, and I feel how my lung capacity has improved

I am no Norman. But for the first time this week, there is more in the tank 🙂
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Author: poshbirdy

Art deco/ art nouveau maniac enjoying a deep and meaningful relationship with alcohol

15 thoughts on “Are You Really Going Out In That?”

  1. Am so impressed! Two and half miles is awesome. I have always been a terrible runner- last in all the sports days as a kid, (sob) I do manage the occasional bit of yoga, to ease my conscience!

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  2. Fair play to you. The elastic in my bikini declared itself exhausted while we were on holiday. Teenage Daughter declared that the solution was to eat more cheese so that it would stay up. I happily complied, to my detriment. Keep running!

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  3. I’ve never really ‘got’ running either – runners never look happy, a bit like ‘serious’ cyclists don’t. However, if it’s your thing, I can imagine it making you miserable if you can’t get out there and do it for whatever reason.
    I like the sound of Norman. He reminds me of the times, back in the 80s, when people would light up in the changing rooms just after a game of squash, following it up with a beer in the bar afterwards.

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  4. It’s strange I love all sports, hockey, netball and tennis team at school etc., but I have never been a runner. I have never enjoyed running. I love exercising, I play as much tennis as I can several times a week, I do yoga, I’ll hike for hours and I like to think I am pretty fit, but running, aside from short bursts on a tennis court, is a no!!!

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  5. Good for you!
    Norman sounds a little like Rich Roll, who wrote “Finding Ultra.”
    I was on the track team for a year in high school. I managed to letter, even though I came in last in every event. Our school was the biggest around, and our competition didn’t always have enough people for every event. All I had to do was finish in some event the other team wasn’t manning, and I could pick up points. Finishing wasn’t a given, though. I try to run every day. I’ve gotten into interval training–jog, run, sprint–and it’s helped me improve. No marathons. I just hope to stay healthy.

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    1. I’m a ‘distance’ runner only. By that, I just mean that I can only run slowly! I could never run when I was younger – didn’t get the breathing at all – but I run to be healthy too, both physically and mentally. I am a misery when I don’t get out!

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  6. This could not be more timely. I’m sitting up on my bed a week after severely spraining my ankle and tearing calf ligaments aplenty (post follows) and I am SO difficult to live with. Why? Because I can’t run. You give me hope that it’s not forever though no hope that I will be sliding into that sleek black two piece IN Hawaii in September! Go girl – you can if you will … but I don’t need to tell you that!

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    1. Oh no! That is terrible. Yes, it has taken a full three months to recover and I am still getting random shooting pains and stiffness through my ankle and calf. But you WILL run again. Just don’t rush it. I am SO SO sorry and I wish you better quickly. Just don’t stop thinking like a runner, that’s the most important thing. Don’t stop feeling envious when you see others out running, and when it settles down, do some good exercises – I found mine on the internet. Again, don’t rush it 😦 xxx

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      1. Thank you! I promise I won’t stop thinking like a runner. No way José! And Two Brains won’t let me rush it – despite the barrage of abuse he takes because I am beyond frustrated. I think you will understand that one! xx

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