So this is it: my first post-grad run. I treated myself to TWO consecutive rest days after reaching the podium, but it’s time to get out and do some running. Besides, it’s getting crowded with all of you lot up there! 👨👩👧👧👩👩👧👧👨👨👧👦👨👨👦👦
Sarah has dropped me off at Big School with a cheery “I’m going to miss ya, petal”. She has a new intake to look after, and the new littlies in Week One need her to provide hankies and hold their hands across that first, most difficult finish line. I feel a bit forlorn at being left alone, but I guess she’s needed elsewhere, so I can’t begrudge it.
I am now a running teenager, so I dress the part: black trainers, black socks, black top which says “Here’s the thing: f*** everyone” on it. I was a goth once; I remember how it goes. All I need now is the black eyeliner, black lipstick, and a perma-scowl. 🧟♀️
I faff around trying to decide how to manage this. First I set up a workout on Runkeeper, but can’t figure out how to make RK shuffle my playlist during a prepared workout - a total dealbreaker. Then I consider using the app with another coach, but Sarah assured me I was ready to go it alone when she kicked me out of the car at the school gates and screeched off, burning rubber as she went. Besides, the idea of running on my own makes feel like a Grown Up for the first time.
Eventually I settle on a heart-rate monitor/Fitbit/Runkeeper combo (surely the upside of taking up exercise as part of a mid-life crisis is equipping yourself with as much tech as possible?). By this time I am half an hour behind schedule, but I don’t care - off I go.
I breathe in the heady air of having the freedom to do whatever I want on this run, then decide to stick to the 5 mins/30 mins/5 mins format of week 9. Baby steps.
Five minutes walking are up - time to run! I set the stopwatch on Fitbit and get going. It’s grey and overcast this morning, but still very warm, so I start slow, but soon find myself speeding up. My legs have apparently gained some extra oomph in the additional rest day, and are raring to go.
In keeping with my goth aesthetic, I run down to the cemetery and do a lap. Halfway round, I suddenly remember what my T-shirt says, and hope I don’t encounter any grieving relatives. Luckily there aren’t many around at 7am, so I think I’m safe,
I head back up into the village. Pedestrians are starting to appear on their way to work, and I power past them. I suddenly remember how much I used to long for the walking breaks back in the early weeks, and am genuinely amazed by how far I’ve come. This programme really is incredible. 😍
Through the pretty old bit of the village, and I am delighted by the sight of a great spotted woodpecker on a tree ahead of me. Can’t stop, though - still 5 minutes to go, plus I don’t have my binoculars. Maybe I should start running with them, just in case of more bird sightings? Stupid idea - I’d give myself a black eye, and the boobs are bad enough on the bouncing front (coincidentally “the bouncing front” is also my nickname for them when running). Through the park, across the street, back towards the house. I check the Fitbit - 30 mins on the nose. I slow to a walk and check I still have my various appendages: arms: check; legs: check; Fitbit: check.
It’s a bit weird to reach the end without anyone telling me what a great job I’ve done. I look hopefully at the cat, but she just turns an ear back disdainfully and looks pointedly at the food bowl. So I put on my best Geordie accent and tell myself I’ve done well, petal. It’s not quite the same, but it’ll do. And I can’t wait to do it all again. 🏃♀️♥️