Monday, April 21, 2008

Running

Last week BlueADT posted a link to a running plan which gets you from couch potato to running 5K in 2 months' time. Now I'll be honest: I've never seen the attraction of running. Until 2004 I was not a sporty person anyway - it doesn't come naturally to me. N. however was a very heavy baby at birth (11 lbs) and I had trouble shifting the baby weight, despite breastfeeding for 10 months. In the summer of 2004 I decided that I needed to do something about it, joined WeightWatchers with a friend and started swimming - the only sport I'd always vaguely enjoyed but not always been able to do due to suffering bad eczema. After N. was born, my eczema cleared up and touch wood hasn't returned, so swimming was finally a keep fit option again. I lost almost 2 1/2 stone in three months and felt so much better for it. Ever since then exercise has become part of my routine, as it helps to keep the weight down and I have a very sedentary job. I now swim and cycle - during good weeks I manage to go 3 to 4 times, during bad weeks it's a bit less... The problem is that I don't have a bicycle at my own place, and going to the gym for a swim takes up a fair bit of time. I needed something else which involved less effort to get started on, and this running plan seems to fit the bill. I have vivid memories of having to run round the athletics track at secondary school, finishing last and completely collapsing, which had put me off running ever since. This plan makes it sound more manageable though, especially as I wouldn't consider myself a couch potato anyway.
This morning after the school run I donned my tracksuit bottoms and felt very self conscious as I crossed the road. I felt even more self conscious after half an hour when I walked back with a red, puffy, sweaty face - but then I kept telling myself 'I may look stupid, but at least I'm doing something healthy'.
Time will tell whether I can keep it up - I did feel brilliant when I came home and on the whole, it didn't feel any worse than a strenuous bike ride. I'm not sure I'll feel that confident come the morning.... (and I'm planning to go again tomorrow morning!)

I can't be the only one who doesn't take good self portraits but this is what a non-couch potato looks like after the first session of the first week...: