First post: anyone else going through contortions to avoid the neighbours?

It's been so great (and encouraging) to read everyone's posts each day that, now I'm on W5R1 (done this morning), I thought it high time I stopped hiding and said hello. However, I can't say I'm not hiding from the neighbours. Is anyone the same? I'd love not to have to bother driving to another location, or trying to fit in a run when I'm at work, but the thought of meeting/being seen by my neighbours, who seem to be continually out with their dogs, hanging around by their cars or peering out of their windows is just too much. It's a bit weedy to be so self-conscious, I know, but I do shuffle along so very, very slowly and do sport such an *interesting* shape in my running gear that that I'd rather not be encountered by those I know.

Anyway, that's me at the moment. I'm sure once I've graduated and am doing all that springing about like a young gazelle stuff (hollow laugh) I'll feel I can cavort infront of anyone... perhaps?

All best to everyone, and so pleased to be joining what seems like such a nice group of folk.


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31 Replies

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  • This is my second time through the programme - the first time I was stopped in week 8 by injury. That time I used to run at lunchtime in an empty lot that had high walls, so no one could see me. This time: I'm just so amazed that I am still attempting this that I've decided to be brazen.

    Be proud of what you are doing! And maybe your neighbours will get the bug.

  • Yeay.. that is the spirit!! Show the world what you are capable of...that, yes, you really are fantastic!

    Go you!!!

  • It's because several neighbours already have the bug that I'm doubly shy. There's one woman near me who flies along with her dog running beside her.

    But yes, I shall attempt to feel more proud of myself. And bravo for doing the program again.

  • It's highly likely, this one that 'flies' along will be full of encouragement to broadly, give a cheery 'morning!' , plug in Laura and away you go.....

    They all started at the begining, so should understand what hard work it is....

    Yes, I was there too,worried how I looked, all the gear and no idea etc. I don't give a stuff now, and generally give a cheery 'morning' to everyone I see, whether they want it or not πŸ˜‚

    By the way, what do you think when you see others out running/walking? I doubt you laugh at them or think they are idiots, I expect you think they are brave, good on them, etc., I know I do,

    Think of us as a virtual crowd of buddies coming with you, lean on us, we'll look after you...πŸ€—


  • I shall think of you all as virtual buddies with great delight and smile. Actually, I'm beaming as I write. You're quite right, I only look on with admiration (and a little bit of jealousy) when I see someone running.

    Huge thanks for the encouragement. And I'll let you know when I get up the courage to make my first local appearance. ☺

  • Yep - 'round here we might run on our own...but we never run alone :) You have the entire Forum with you :)

  • Oh yes, many of us can identify with that 😎 i hid for ages, like some Lycra clad overstuffed ninja 😎 Once my cover got blown, when I got locked out of the house, I was past caring πŸ˜€ I have to say, a high level of spandex does suck everything in quite nicely. I was pleasantly surprised πŸ˜€

    So, enjoy yourself, and go very steadily. No need for speed!

    There is a definitive work on the subject of running whilst trying to be completely invisible. It's a kindle book called No Run Intended. 99p approx πŸ˜πŸ˜‚

  • Thanks MissWobble. That sounds an indispensable read. And so glad the feelings of exposure pass. I guess it's all still feeling a bit new for me and I've yet to properly inhabit the space called 'active person'. Cheers!

  • :) Love it... and I love my compression leggings.. I look slim :)

  • Yeay.. welcome to one of the best things ever! You are on the way.. well on the get out there and show the world.

    Neighbours.. they are either full of admiration, really jealous or have not even noticed you :)

    ( mostly the former or the latter) :)

    I loved entertaining neighbours, school students, anyone really, when I started...( read some of my former posts :)) Running backwards was a blast !

    And.. there is no such thing as too slow.. nope.. there is not.. it is a great speed and will get you to Graduation injury free and having had real fun.

    Keep posting, you are doing so well, and we will need to cheer you on to the Graduation podium...McFitty puts on a super party... :)

    So..shuffle away, but be proud of your shuffle...

    " Self Confidence is the best outfit... rock it and own it ! "


    It was a great morning for a run wasn't it.. I loved it :)

  • Thanks Oldfloss -- I'm overwhelmed by all these lovely posts of encouragement and great stories. Sounds like I just need to own it and be loud and proud. And yes, yesterday morning was utterly gorgeous. I was off round the fishing pond in a park (far from my neighbours, obvs) and all the coots and geese were very busy and had lots to say.

  • I was very conscious to begin with, but I found a cap and sunglasses ( hey it's spring!) made me feel less visible.

    Keep running, you are doing great πŸƒπŸΌβ€β™€οΈπŸ˜ƒ

  • Jacs-W -- I love the idea of the glam look! Sounds a bit Sarah Connor (a definite heroine of mine for all those old enough to remember Terminator II)


  • Oh, and about speed: I am running slower than I normally walk. That's fine. My heartrate is up and I am gaining stamina and muscle.

  • Not from the neighbours, though if I am running at lunchtime I do ninja through the building so as not to be seen by any work colleagues.

    Well I did until last week when I got caught, and they asked was I going for a run, and how far. When I said, "yeah, maybe 3-4 miles", they responded with a "good for you, have a good one"

    Be proud of what you are doing, people will either be pleased for you, wish you well or take an interest. Either that or not care either way.

    You are making a difference to your life, put on some bright hi-vis and shuffle down the street with a smile on your face. (at the start anyway, the return home may be slightly redder faced, not so smiley and we will allow a bit more ninja!)

  • Shuffling is ok. It gets you where you want to go. I shuffled in races! πŸ˜€

    Picking your legs up, in a cycle motion, talked about by Laura or whoever, is extremely hard when you are a fledgling runner. One day you will run with your feet off the floor but don't worry about it in the meantime

  • Indeed! not likely to happen any time soon (ha, ha). But, early days ...

  • I rather like the 'hiding' aspect, leaving the house apparently normally dressed and then stripping off the outer layers and changing my shoes to turn from mild-mannered [insert name here] to Superhero GoogleMe. Gives me delusions of running grandeur.

    I did once start from a notorious dogging spot and didn't want to confuse the lone male sitting in his car, so the stripping happened out of sight in the woods and jumpers etc went into my backpack.

    All of that said, I *can* now leave the house in full, exposed, running fig should I wish. If you are not inspired by a bit of a push from us here, you can probably rest assured that bravery will creep up on you in time.

  • This has made me laugh a lot. And I love the idea of developing a mild-mannered alter-ego to match yours. Superhero OgdenCouch sounds wonderful -- particularly if I combine it with the ninja stealth moves, sunglasses, hat, Lycra and day glow jacket variously suggested by the other posts. I will be a thing of beauty.

  • Like apparently a heck of a lot of us here I was extremely self-conscious when I started but that soon changed - I was having too much fun (even when I thought my lungs were going to come out through my nose!) I loved feeling I was doing something for my future health and absolutely loved that I knew if I just stuck with it I would look better too :)

    I ran in a Park full of weirdos and clueless canine owners for the most part for the programme because its the only level ground around here, believe me I had a few encounters with those I term 'Smirkers'

    But - very quickly I had fun with that also. Imagine them smirking when they are hooked up to all sorts of machines in the Cardiac Unit in years to come while you sail serenely on through life for instance ;)

    The 'Gazelle' runners - well, they know what you are going through and do respect it. SOME of them get a bit defensive over how you DEFINE 'Running' and may be anxious to define you as a 'Jogger'- but that's just politics ;)

    And I have to say - it was nice in the 5K race I was arm twisted into entering in the Fall to be running past MUCH more 'fitter' looking and younger people than me and they shouting all sorts of encouragement - man, they didn't care HOW I ran, they just genuinely admired that a lot of us old decrepit -looking old farts WERE running at ALL :)

  • Welcone OgdenCouch . Hopefully all these replies will have helped you relax. I shared all the same feelings as you when I started. I was so terrified anyone who knew me would see me that I somehow convinced myself that I was invisible (in my bright orange running cagoule - yeah right!) so that I didn't need to worry. :)

    But gradually I'd meet people who would say things like, "I saw you out running the other day Anne. Well done! That's fantastic", etc.. NO-ONE said, "I saw you out running the other day. You weren't going very fast were you? And you really don't have the figure for lycra do you?", and I don't even think it's that they thought those things privately but were too polite to say. I think people are generally just impressed to see people trying.

    Now, I couldn't care less who sees me, even though I'm still not going very fast and I still don't have the figure for lycra. I. Am. A. Runner. And that's what counts... :)

  • This absolutely echoes my experience. I didn't tell Mr Rainbow that I was starting this for fear he'd laugh at me - only told two friends for moral support. I tried to use the field paths and avoid being seen, but after a few weeks I confessed to Mr R and he was nothing but supportive. Then people started saying they'd seen me, and we're all absolutely lovely, supportive, encouraging, asking about the programme I was doing etc. Not one hint of derision at all.

    Now I go out in whatever's clean enough, Lycra, leggings, don't care! :)

  • I don't really care about my neighbours so much as we don't really talk anyway. But I live in a smallish town where everybody notices everybody else. I used to run solely around the local National Trust property as it's mainly paths and trails and quite quiet.

    However I ventured out eventually onto main streets during winter as I was getting a bit bored of the same paths! Under the cover of darkness I built up a bit of confidence so that when the evenings started getting brighter it wasn't so daunting. I still love the relative anonymity of a pair of sunglasses in the spring and summer (even if it's not particularly sunny!). I'll admit I still hate it when my colleagues (or worse, random customers I've never met before) say they've seen me out running the previous evening as I immediately think what state I was in as I go VERY red in the face! However, not as much as the early days as I know I'm much fitter now and I'm definitely the fittest out of us all in work so if they make an comments about my tomato face I'll be ready for them! πŸ˜„

  • Now then - I bumped into my neighbour when I got back from my very first run. She told me I looked dreadful and what on earth was I doing. A few days later the neighbour the other side said she had heard I'd started running and wanted to know more. Now, the first neighbour will ask how my running is going and the second one has done the programme too. Just go for it, we like to think of our red faces as a badge of honour, they don't go away.

    Good luck

  • Thank you venerable Ancient. And glad you weren't put off by the grizzly neighbour (some people do feel entitled to say awful things). And I will wear my blotchy face (I go red in hectic patches, it's almost decorative) with pride.

  • Hello there OgdenCouch. Ha Ha, yes, I know exactly what you mean and I have managed quite well so far in being invisible to my neighbours ( or so I think!?! ) because for the majority of the times I've been out it has been in the evenings, therefore dark! On days where it's been particularly nice and I've chosen to go out, I too have gone for a little drive in the car first to,another area. I think it will be a long time, if ever, before I can look like a decent runner and be confident enough to boast about being a runner! So, this is just to let you know you are not alone there.

    Of course now we have the lighter evenings..........

    Oh dear!...........

  • Me too! I have to run in a gym in my buildings and the first couple of times I went down I got my daughter to scope it out and if anyone else was there I'd sit by the pool til they were gone! Now I go in there even if the yummy mummies are there with their personal trainers and I'm 50...I actually bought some 'proper' gear cos I lived in Australia for the previous few years and everyone there wears 'active' wear confidently and you then assume they are active, even when they are just sitting drinking coffees!!!

  • This reminds me of my early days of being ill when I turned up for my second appointment with the consultant wearing plenty of slap, dangly earrings and a track suit. "Oh" she said, "You must be feeling so much better!" (whereas I needed the elasticated waist because of the pain)

  • So glad to know you're out there, too, Chrysanthemum. Lighter evenings, lighter mornings -- what is a girl to do?

  • Such a great post, sums up how most of us feel. I'm at exactly the same stage as you and I'm probably very suspicious as trying so hard to be inconspicuous!!!

    So glad that's how we all feel & I'm not going nuts.

    Good luck πŸ˜‰

  • Thanks Yrace -- its certainly great for me to know I'm not alone, and that there's hope for being able to be out there strutting one's stuff or not caring (even better) in the future. Perhaps in the meantime us hiders can treat our squeamishness to be seen in the same way everyone advises re pace -- take it slowly, don't push it, and we'll arrive there injury free and doing more than we ever imagined. Well, that's my philosophical thought for this morning!

    And another lovely day!

    All best


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