Monday, 12 July 2010

I can has velocity?

A while ago (11 days ago to be precise), I started to run. Not like, continuously, I’m sitting still right now, but in general. The decision was brought on by a mix of guilt for not doing enough exercise, masochistic curiosity (will my ankle take it) and to see if I can actually beat something I really hate. Also, one friend had started jogging after quitting smoking, and my boyfriend’s mum had completed a running program recently. I figured that although I have asthma, if an ex-smoker and someone of boyfriend’s mum’s age bracket (whoa, look at the skill with which I didn’t call her ’old’) can do this 10km program then so can I.

Boldly ignoring the extra 15kg that I am carrying around, my maimed ankle, a history of being inert and sedate and the fact that my asthma medicine ran out months ago, I decided to print out a program (printing it makes it real, you know) for novice runners, and started.

The first time, I went out by myself, ignoring Sarah’s advice to run in the dark so that people can't see your fail. I pranced off into the boiling sun at around rush hour, so that everyone could bask in my fail.

The program said to walk 5 minutes, run 2 minutes, take a small break and then repeat. Do not scoff at the program. Those were the longest two minutes of my life. There was a short break, followed by the shortest 5 minutes and new, improved longest two minutes of my life. Apparently a masochist, I ended up running UP a hill at the end, and arrived back on our doorstep a sweaty blubbering mess of post-exercise.

(You may remember that I mentioned it was hot here in Finland? Well it’s still hot. In fact, since I wrote that post, it just got hotter. So my running trips, though valiant, suck über donkey balls).

Because of the heat and scale of unfitness as well as my overwhelming reluctance to run unless I’m being chased or would REALLY like to get somewhere faster I somewhat resemble an injured hippo or a sack of potatoes moving slightly faster than usual. But that’s okay. I’m (telling myself I’m) doing this for myself, not anyone else.

Running is hard. Sometimes when I’ve run before, I’ve thought ”if I can only make it to that tree, I’ll be satisfied with myself”. Then the tree becomes the FURTHEST THING IMAGINABLE and my legs are made of sandbags and I’m running in wet sand, which makes for an unnecessary surplus of sand and this mental strategy -setting myself visible goals - apparently does not work.

The program is pretty good, because I know there’s a time to run, and if boyfriend keeps the time then I can just run and try to think about other stuff like what I’m going to eat for dinner or how many people are on the toilet right now or why wasps have to exist. Unfortunately this isn’t so easy, because my brain, alerted to my exceptional behaviour and velocity, starts trying to talk sense into me:

My brain makes a lot of valid points, but I’m stubborn and would like to be fitter, and also follow through with my aim to be equally as fit as boyfriend’s mum and the ex-smoker, who also has asthma.

Luckily for me I found that if I listen to my ipod at the same time as running it not only blocks out the sound of my pathetic, asthmatic wheezing but it also makes me forget about my natural predisposition to NOT running and care marginally less about my cellulite flobbering about all over the place. I literally frolic.

With an ipod, I am able to block out reality and imagine that I look like this:

But with no ipod, reality smacks me in the face with this image:

Can’t quite tell for sure which is less embarassing.



  1. Your best one yet Stace, made me laugh. Keep up with the exercise it`ll get easier but, afraid to say, probably more boring. Looking 4ward to your next blog :)lyl mum

  2. You may not be good at running, but your humor is priceless!! :)

  3. Amazing! I know that feeling because, I too, am not predisposed to running but felt the need to take it up last year. Now... I'm trying to get back into it and I'm faced with this challenge again. Hang in there! Pystyt siihen!