Guest Blog: 10 Things I Now Know About Running

1 Dec

So now I run. When I told my mum that I had bought a pair of trainers, her response was to laugh down the phone, loudly. But I am now a runner. I have the t-shirt and occasionally bright red face to prove it. And it’s not so bad (bear in mind that this is from the girl who counted running for the bus as a workout). But I have a new and improved attitude to running. And on week 4 of our training, this is what I’ve learned so far:

1.       Why running in a group is great

If I were not running in a group, I would not be running at all. It would have been so easy on this run to have got to Embankment Bridge (where we have previously taken the stairs) and just stopped. My mind certainly did. But my body had to carry on moving because the rest of the RFBR’s were going strong, and no-one wants to wimp out. You are spurred on by your own shame at how little grit you usually have on a solo run, and how much more you need.

2.       Why running in a group can suck a little

When people tell you they’re really unfit, do not believe them until you see them staggering up a flight of steps clutching their chests and wheezing. For no-one is really as unfit as they say there are. Unless you are me. So if you do run in a group, find your own pace, however slow that may be. There is only shame in having to stop because you’ve run off at a sprint to save face (which I must point out, none of the RFBR group have done). Also, I’m a noisy runner. A good ‘heh’ of exertion (and exhaustion) generally eeks out during the middle of the run. Funnily enough, this is rather disconcerting for others. Must remember, no freaky noises.

3.       Running is an open and accepting club

Previously I was scared of the gorgeous people who managed to run on a lunch break. But now, those same people will give me a nod! There’s an unspoken acknowledgement that though I may not be clocking up as much mileage as they are, they can see that I’m trying. And surely there’s a medal for that somewhere?

4.       5k isn’t really that much (right?!)

Though it seems mad, we’re now starting to be able to see our whole route on our walk-jog-walk around. It’s amazing. Each time you extend the marker as to how far you’re going to go, it feels like we can do this by January.

5.       Running really is just one foot after the other

Simple! Force yourself to ignore all the pain, forget that your running, and your feet start to do it on their own…

6.       T-shirts are good

Now, I know I’m in a minority on this one, but this was my first run with my brand-spanking new t-shirt proudly emblazoned with RUN FAT BITCH RUN. The reason I like this is that it gives you a reason to be running. It defines you as part of a group, a mob of running ladies, it makes you laugh when looking in the mirror, it is a signal to all the seasoned runners that you are an amateur at this, so please do not snigger when you lap me at the Oxo tower; it distracts lecherous old men and lorry drivers from your legging-clad behind. And finally, I’m attention seeking. Who doesn’t love a good slogan t-shirt? I’m certainly going to be accessorising mine with a pair of jeans and shoe boots (coming to a high street near you) on Sundays once this is over.

7.       Aching calves are a positive thing

It tells you two things, One: you’ve been working out, girl! Two: Girl, you are so unfit. Get your ass out running this weekend.

8.       Take what support you can from attractive young men

While we were running along the Southbank a rather attractive young man started running beside us. For me, this was hell. I was sweaty, bright red and unable to talk in coherent sentences. I gave him a pretty brusque reception, only realising after that he was being really rather nice and wishing us on our way. Next time, I shall smile sweetly (as sweetly as my red face shall allow) and ask if the nice young man can carry me back to the office.

9.       If it looks like a bridge too far…cross it

My personal Grit Doctor is very negative ‘you are not built for running’ seems to have become my mantra at the low points, but it spurs me on because I hate to be told I can’t do something. ‘Right then, Miss Negative,’ I think, ‘for saying that, you WILL run over that bridge’ and thus, the bridge is vanquished.

10.   Everybody sweats

Yeah they do. And after a run, who cares.


Rhiannon Smith, Editorial Assistant (and runner)


One Response to “Guest Blog: 10 Things I Now Know About Running”

  1. Donna Condon December 2, 2011 at 2:00 pm #

    Loved your post, Rhiannon – entertaining and inspiring, and it also made me chuckle!! Best of luck with your training!

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