Sister Sister

10 Apr

Well, I suffered a minor crucifixtion of my own over Easter weekend: I went for a run with my younger sister.   We’d enjoyed a bit of running chat in the preceeding days during which I elicited that she was a member of a running club in North London, and has been doing a few ‘races’.  This should have acted as a warning sign, but instead I brushed it off thinking, well, that’s fair enough, she has been running for about a decade now, so its no surprise that she is a member of a running club, maybe I would be too if it weren’t for the twins etc.

However, the experience of running alongside her reminded me of when I was training my mother in her fifties: mum huffing and puffing, stiff as a board, and me leaping about like a gazelle, glorifying in my comparative youth and fitness.  Well, the trainer was well and truly on the other foot this Sunday.  We agreed to run a ‘gentle’ 10k, but I was struggling from the off when I discovered what her idea of ‘gentle’ was.  Too proud to beg her to slow down, and always on the verge of a seizure as a result, I had to admit defeat half way through.  I just couldn’t keep up with her pace and neither could I run the full 10k, as I was completely out of gas, my legs were like lead, my ego, needless to say, crushed.  She gently and very kindly said we would shorten the run to just the usual lap of the lake.  I could tell she was jogging much much more slowly than she would like to, just to stay with me, so I insisted that she go off at her own pace and that I would meet her at the end of the lap.  Before I finished the sentence, she was off, disappearing in a puff of smoke.  Brutal?  Hell yes.

On the plus side though, I learnt a few tricks from my sister during this run: a simple leg warm up which is just holding onto a fence or something to steady yourself and then swinging your leg up in front of you as high as you can and then back behind you, swing swing swing and then change legs, always very loose and swinging; that running with your toes first and leaning forward is a much more efficient way to run (she’s absolutely right of course, its how the Kenyans do it after all), and that my idea of ‘interval’ training is pathetic compared to her’s: she runs up Primrose Hill (its steep by the way, really steep) fast to the first lamp post then jogs slowly back down, then fast up to second lamp post and slowly down to the bottom again, fast all the way up to the third and then slowly all the way down to the bottom again etc etc until you reach the top.  Just to give you an idea of how gritty this is, I once ran up Primrose Hill at the end of a 7mile run when training for a marathon and it nearly killed me.  Her 10k race time is 42 minutes, I am lucky if I finish a 10k in under 55.  So, the fact is my little sister is a better runner than me: faster, grittier, stronger and fitter.  She barely broke into a sweat during our run and at no time was out of breath.  I am still recovering from the experience, I may in fact, never recover from the experience…

The Grit Doctor says:

There are few things in life grittier than being comprehensively thrashed by a younger sibling in your supposed area of expertise.  Incorporate brutally gritty interval hill training up Primrose Hill into your weekly running schedule, but keep it quiet until the next ‘family’ weekend and a ‘gentle’ 10k.

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6 Responses to “Sister Sister”

  1. Rachelle April 10, 2012 at 6:13 pm #

    Reminiscent of me running with my much younger… Slimmer & fitter sister… She would run ahead of me slapping her backside shouting ‘come on Rachelle… Do you need me to dangle a Galaxy bar to help you?!’…. Hideous!!!

  2. oldrunner April 10, 2012 at 8:55 pm #

    I’ve been inspired by your initial blog posts, bought the book and got my arse off the sofa etc. But the intro to this post comparing your leisure and fitness routine to ‘crucifixion’ in the aftermath of the Christian commemoration of Good Friday and Easter is offensive in the extreme.

    • merc230ce April 10, 2012 at 9:12 pm #

      PFFT!! Hahaha! ;-D Come on now, oldrunner, that’s a bit of an overreaction surely? I understand The GritDoctor is a Christian, and presumably marked the solemn (and celebratory) events of the Easter weekend in appropriate fashion. Please allow her a small metaphorical segue into her ‘field of expertise’!

    • merc230ce April 10, 2012 at 9:14 pm #

      PFFT!! Hahaha! ;-D Come on now, oldrunner, that’s a bit of an overreaction surely? I understand The GritDoctor is a Christian, and presumably marked the solemn (and celebratory) events of the Easter weekend in appropriate fashion. Please allow her a small metaphorical segue into her area of expertise, I’m sure she meant no offence.

      • gritdoctor April 11, 2012 at 8:48 am #

        Thanks, I really didn’t mean to offend, apologies for so doing. x

    • gritdoctor April 11, 2012 at 8:50 am #

      sorry for causing offence, that was not my intention.

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