Emasculated in Man Leggings: The man-leggings... - Couch to 5K

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Emasculated in Man Leggings


The man-leggings made an appearance today and it was a regretful decision. It wasn't particularly cold, but an absolutely drab, misery of a morning, so I felt I needed to barter with myself a little bit to get on out there and musk-up my run route (as it's had a whole week to dehaze) and I struck the deal at top-and-bottom base layers, and a hat so woolly that they had to break into a second sheep to knit it.

One thing you need to know about my leggings...using the word "need" pretty loosely here...is that they are incredibly territorial. They don't play nice with others. I've made the mistake of prying them over the top of undies before, but the lycra just gets an instantaneous grip of them and starts trying to eject them upwards, out the top without the slightest bit of consideration for any undercarriage that may be blocking its path. It was an eye-watering experience, and one that convinced me that I'm not a great fan of castration, so I vowed there and then that it would be commando for then on out.

Have you ever watched one of those Domestos (or hhhhhhiff) adverts for kick-arse cleaning products that wipe out 99.99% of all germs, and think, 'Well what the hell is that last, double-hard 0.01% made of?'

Gusset sweat, that's what.

After a nuclear holocaust annihilates all life as we know it, right down to the humble microbe, the only things that will remain are cockroaches and my leggings-gusset.

I don't know what to do with them now. I've never handled hazardous waste before. Can I burn them? I wouldn't feel safe with anything less than a 100ft fuse.

This wasn't the source of regret though, not even close. No amount of trouser-butter could outdo emasculation. *shudder*

Now, I'm a pretty zen and philosophical guy; you've got that about me right? And a pragmatist, I'm sure no-one would argue with that. I understand that the world isn't just made up of all sorts of people, it thrives on them. Diverse demographics comprise a whole spectrum of skillsets, perspectives, intellects, attitudes, outlooks and opinions and each are as necessary to our success and continual development as the other; from the knuckle-draggers who overtly fart at urinals to the visionaries that define and shape the advancement and betterment of our civilisation, like Charmin Rollbots. Each component is imperative to the tuned functioning of the whole, everyone plays their part, except for one.

One cog in this machine is like the wasp of the human race. F*cking pointless. Like the Shetland Pony.

I'm talking about the fit, beautiful people. There is no place for them in my eyes.

There I was, waddling along like a penguin with a head injury; my beanie slowly expanding and collapsing as it collects and releases back pressure, blowing haze-rings into the air like a cartoon train, my ventless jacket more bio-seal than raincoat, and wetter on the inside than out; my shorts draped over my leggings in the vain hope that covering the budgie bulge does absolutely anything to allay the nausea created by the whole. My right nostril is increasingly inflating a snot bubble with every breath, the left one popped 30 seconds ago and has been smeared and evenly distributed from wrist to elbow.

Y'know, completely normal.

And then out of nowhere was overtaken by one of these disgusting creatures: Eight foot tall and most of that was legs. Equine by gait, and bounding without effort, completely detached from the ground for seconds at a time. Her pony tail swaying, whipping and dancing as she leapt, roses burst out of the concrete in her wake. She was dressed in running shoes, a pair of thin shorts that barely covered her bum and...er, I don't think I got higher than that. Some kind of T-shirt, I think.

One of us got the wrong weather memo. It was an awful sight.

She looked at me as she overtook. Well, she didn't look, her head remained bolt forward, but her eyeball shifted by a fraction of a fraction of a degree, and with the faintest of cheek-tightening, momentary half smiles, she utterly emasculated me.

It was the runners' version of looking into the pram of a God-ugly baby and pitching their voice up a semi-tone, cooing things like, "Isn't he cute" when it's blatantly obvious to the entire universe that no, it isn't. It resembles a heavily punched ball of clay. In fact, it would be a hell of an achievement to be even uglier whilst only possessing the one head. Even its Mum knows, and to pretend it is anything other than the concertinaed chasse of cheap car after a demolition derby is just an insult to everyone's sense.

That's what she did to me.

In that instance of time I realised I had slightly overdressed. And that I should probably refrain from wearing leggings in daylight hours. I need to get some proper running bottoms, I reckon.

She covered the next half mile in about 4 perfect paces, and then was gone around the corner.

Good job really, there's no place for them in this society. The smug bastards.

So that was my W6R2, and despite being ruthlessly humiliated for a nanosecond, it was actually quite a good run. My target was to not get injured and I'm pretty sure I succeeded. That's how high I set the bar for myself!

After my...

...I don't know what to call it without sounding dramatic...

we'll say near death experience over the weekend, my joints have been burning and felt like they'd been fused together. In fact, every muscle in my body felt as if I'd been sharing a jumpsuit with a drill instructor on amphetamines, so I wanted to get out there and go gentler than a pair of lovemaking hedgehogs.

The significance of this run is that I've now equalled my first failed C25K effort and surpassed my second. I remember this run from 18 months ago (and re-read my post Get Crazy With The Cheese Wedge) and remember that I was blowing at the end. For the last couple of minutes I was gasping for breath and offering MJ my entire kingdom for it all to be over. In that respect, it's been a completely different experience this time around. Slowing down means the runs are less taxing, and I feel that, energy-wise, I've got a lot more in me than I'm currently exerting and come to a stop with an apathetic shrug.

On the other hand, the minute I think I'm actually in danger of becoming a runner, my knee has a sudden surge of individualism and says something like, "I will not conform with with your bourgeois 'forward bending' any longer. I'm a free spirit, I will bend any way I want!" and my leg starts flapping around like half-boiled spaghetti.

I've been trying to do some strengthening exercises recently and gave planking a go. Watching videos of it, I'm sat in my jammies saying 'pffft, anyone can do 60 seconds of that' and then started convulsing 15 seconds in. My wife honestly thought I was having another fit and shouted at me. That's a tried and tested response to seizures. I've bought myself a yoga mat (delivered) and a foam roller (not yet delivered) too, so sh*t is getting serious at the moment, but with all that said though, I'm not sure when I'll be out there W6R3ing. In all honesty, I'm terrified of it. I've been running around on here, talking smack to everyone about it for the last couple of months, and now it's fronting me up. It's bigger than I thought.

Plus, I have just nearly died...

Happy running, my virchies! Don't be too hard on the fit and beautiful will you? It's not their fault that they're repulsive.

87 Replies

I happen to like Shetland ponies.

So pleased you're still alive, and still running, and still writing missives that cause me to spit my tea out from laughing so much 🤣. Can't wait for your report about W6R3. Come on Paul, you can do this!!

PaulS83 in reply to Tartancat

Nothing against Shetland Ponies, but...what’s the point of them?

Yes, I’m still alive. The grim reaper came for me and then I started giving the verbal equivalent of one of these posts and he just waved his hands in front of his face and stormed off.

I really not sure if I can, I’m sponsored by Volterol at the moment and feel like I need a week between runs.

TartancatGraduate in reply to PaulS83

Then take a week between runs! I almost feel sorry for the grim reaper now


Well I’m so glad you’re feeling better but but that’s was WAYYYY. . . . TMI!!! Please don’t stop though😂. Oh and just to reassure you I’m sure your next run will be completed (and eventful!). Go break your previous record.

PaulS83 in reply to Sybilw

Was it the gusset? It was the gusset, wasn’t it?

If I get through the next run, I will celebrate it like a graduation. If I graduate, I will commission an entire parade, lockdown or not.

SybilwGraduate in reply to PaulS83

🤣 You’ll have quite a parade of VRBs behind your parade - believe me!!


I would write to your local council regarding the hazardous waste. Just to make sure you could deposit your leggings at the local recycling centre. We had to do that to dispose of our old (radioactive) smoke alarms.

And as for that vision with the shorts - were you delirious? I am sure she would not have been real.

Good luck with the rest of week 6 ......

PaulS83 in reply to Lynne1916

I think I need to call them. I just tried fly tipping them 5 miles down the road, and they’ve just made their own way back to the doorstep. A bit freaky really.

She was most definitely real. I think it’d be polite if these people found an ounce of common courtesy to look at least a tiny bit bedraggled as they sprint through the rain.

I feel like I shouldn't have read this while eating my dinner...

Well done on the run! And please, post more!

PaulS83 in reply to Helm108

Are we twinning?

Er...when are you preparing to R3 it? I’m feeling the pressure now, I’m not sure I could handle emasculation twice in a week...


I love the way the 'related tag' at the bottom of your post says 'castration' 😂

PaulS83 in reply to Roxdog

Haha, I can imagine all the scorned wives, girlfriends and lovers coming on here, bread knife in hand, looking for some serious advice, only to find this nonsense.

I, er, hope they don’t redirect their anger...


Glad you’re well enough to get back out there, your description conjured up quite a picture in my head! 🙈😂 Congratulations too on equalling and surpassing your previous attempts. Third time’s the charm, so they claim. Waiting with bated breath for the full update on your health misadventures but in the meantime, good luck for W6R3!

PaulS83 in reply to SeeJillRun

Not a lot to report health/wise. Have follow ups, not allowed to drive etc, a pain in the arse. Oh, and nearly bled out in my sleep. Other than that, all dandy! Cleared to run, as long as I take it easy.

@Dont worry doc, I started...

SeeJillRunGraduate in reply to PaulS83

I love how you just casually throw in nearly bleeding out in your sleep as if it’s no big deal! Glad you’re still with us, it definitely does sound like a pain in the arse, but better safe than sorry. It’s not as if there’s many places we’re allowed to go these days anyway 😕 Look after yourself n I hope they manage to figure out what’s going on 🤞


Gusset! Lovely word. Like "plinth" and "moist".

And then the al dente knees.

We've all been overtaken by impossibly fit young legs.

If there had been anyone nearby when I was reading this they'd have been sending for the straight-jacket.

PS. Shetland ponies can be really bad tempered creatures, too.

PaulS83 in reply to nowster

Yes, it’s perfectly suited to what it describes, like an onomatopoeia.

Re the Shetland Ponies. It’s the same as some dwarves. You’d think they’d all be friendly but...

SoniabrownGraduate in reply to nowster

Same....completely howling like some kind of thingety thing in pain....🤣🤣🤣🤣

No, Shetland ponies are highly intelligent animals and they are very clever. They were bred to pull weight and are hardy and strong and used for work pulling carts and used down the mines because of their strength and their size. Never known a bad tempered one, naughty yes. However I know it has just been thrown in their for effect. Long live Shetland ponies and also lycra leggings so that we can have more hilarious jottings.

Thank you for a wonderful read! I nearly wet myself laughing! 🤣 I shall be following you very closely... well, not too closely, just in case your gusset decided to misbehave again.

If I were you, I’d gauge distance based on wind direction!

MuddledGardenerGraduate in reply to PaulS83




Glad your up and about to reclaim your territory😂

The leggings, Oh My God! Brings back nightmares getting into a pair and failing.

Just shorts and a skiddes for me all year round.

Congrats on getting this far.

I would have graduated this week but having to isolate 'till next Thursday as NHS Covid app peed on my chips.

Onwards and upwards👍👍

PaulS83 in reply to Hobbler

I think they’ve been officially retired now, but I have just ordered some joggers. I used to be shorts all year round when I played football, but I’m getting wimpier as I’m getting older.


There are not enough words, especially as it seems you have used most of them.

So glad you got out and had a good run. I could send you a bio waste container if that would help, could I possibly suggest you size up? surely they shouldn't be that tight are you running in Spanx?

Go easy for the next one you're venturing into unknown territory 😱

PaulS83 in reply to Jell6

These are the bad boys. Enjoy the mental imagery! 😆


My wife live tracks my runs at the moment (she’ll get bored soon enough) to make sure I’m not gunning it. The watch had an incident detection app that notifies her as emergency contact if I fall. That’s what won me my permission to run!

Jell6Graduate in reply to PaulS83

Wowsers, the world should be grateful you had shorts on too🙈

PaulS83 in reply to Jell6

I think it would take more than a pair of shorts before people started thanking me!

Hobbler in reply to PaulS83

I shouldn't have looked🙈

nowsterGraduate in reply to PaulS83

I have something similar. They're actually quite comfortable once you've broken them in. It's not been cold enough to wear them out yet.

PaulS83 in reply to nowster

Or dark enough!

misswobbleGraduate in reply to PaulS83

She does what! 😁. I can imagine my husband doing that. Not! 😎


Brilliant! You now need (if you haven’t already got) a literary agent to secure a publishing deal.

PaulS83 in reply to GailXrunning

Haha, no, I just like to come on here and unload.

GailXrunningGraduate in reply to PaulS83

Reframe: it’s an art form. 😉

Yes I am sure Paul could write an amusing and funny book or play


Good to see you're fit and well and that the health scare hasn't put you off. Now put your man sized pants on, stand tall and face down R3 💪 You can do it, and I'm very much looking forward to reading your report of the Eureka moment!

PaulS83 in reply to Wenderwoo

I will! Just might take a few days to recover though... 😆


Loved this. Almost as good as the Amazon Veet review.

PaulS83 in reply to Jonno34

Just Googled that, thank you, absolutely hilarious. 👍🏻

TeresafaithGraduate in reply to Jonno34

Just read the Amazon veet review- OMG - hilarious.

Jonno34Graduate in reply to Teresafaith

It is, I go back every so often, it keeps giving!

Jell6Graduate in reply to Jonno34

Just read that 😂😂😂, and he still gave it 5 stars 🤣🤣


😂 , oh my , this was such a wonderful read as here in Bonnie Scotland we have entered lockdown 2.0. Absolutely priceless. I have nothing to add about your run , but having joggeld( a cross between jogging and jiggling) past 3 such gazelles during the summer months , I recall the eye swivel! I might add they were stationery, I didn't actually jog past them .Cheers for the cheer up!

PaulS83 in reply to jwillmac

Yes, the sly eye! It’s like she’d never seen an oblate spheroid bouncing along in a sea of its own perspiration before. *tuts*

jwillmacGraduate in reply to PaulS83

Well I have heard men's emmm, err , bits called many things(retired nurse) , but I do like this description. Makes notes , oblate spheroid.

PaulS83 in reply to jwillmac

😆 I was talking about physique, but it might stick

jwillmacGraduate in reply to PaulS83

Yes, I've realised that now ! I don't really have a mind in the gutter lol .Seriously though, I found /find joggling a real struggle but I still go out 3 times a week. You sound amazing and this was a tonic to read .Ta very much


Hilarious, eating my breakfast and managed to choke on my toast 🤣🤣🤣 keep on running 🏃🏻‍♂️🏃🏻‍♂️🏃🏻‍♂️

PaulS83 in reply to Fitatfifty50

Apologies for that. The post should’ve come with a “not to be read whilst eating” warning!

I actually can't stop laughing! 🤣🤣🤣Not in a horrible way obviously. That's the first thing I read on opening my eyes this morning and it's really put a smile on my face 😀 Have you ever though of writing a book?!

PaulS83 in reply to Campervan62

Thanks. Yes but really don’t have the patience or creativity for it. I prefer aimless drivel!

Campervan62 in reply to PaulS83

Well please keep it coming!

😂 Oh I so get you re those annoying people. Where do they even come from? Are they dropped from somewhere as a test? Very glad that you sent the grim reaper packing, loved that your wife shouted at you when she thought you were having another fit (!) and very very sure you should be writing a book or at the very least a column! Keep on running, it doesn’t matter if you need a week in between. And please keep posting!! 🙏🏻🤣

PaulS83 in reply to Fleur1307

Thanks. I think a week is reasonable. It took me 10 minutes to figure out how to get out of bed this morning. I ended up opting for a slow roll to the edge, a pause, and then a plunge all rounded off with a muffled swear word.


I actually cried laughing 🤣🤣🤣 thank you PaulS83, thank you so much for putting the whole blessed mess that most of us normal folks call 'running' thoroughly into perspective .......and, yeah take a week between runs..I am!🤣

PaulS83 in reply to Soniabrown

Finally I feel like I’m providing a service! 😂


Ahhhhhh the hazards of lycra, but there's no need, it's your friend 🧐. It streamlines and will make you Into that sleek runner..... But only if you get it right, no one wants Linford Christie's lunchbox sprinting up the high street! Lycra dresscode essential for all sakes 🕵️‍♀️🙈.


PaulS83 in reply to Imc50

Haha, I don’t think I’d get much work as a Linford stunt double...in any department!

misswobbleGraduate in reply to PaulS83

If you’ve ever seen Ron Hill you’ll just know he didn’t invent those He was a minimalist for sure 😁


Cracking piece of writing, hilarious. Keep posting😀

PaulS83 in reply to Teresafaith

Thank you, I shall!

TeresafaithGraduate in reply to PaulS83

Try the very cream before your next run!😂 I'll look forward to your post afterwards!!


That has got to be the funniest post I’ve ever read on here - perhaps because it’s pretty relatable!!!

Looking forward to your next runs, please keep going, if only for our entertainment ha ha!!

PaulS83 in reply to Kevin41

Yes, I seem to have struck a chord with this one!

OMG PaulS, I shouldn't have taken a mouthful of coffee before reading your post as I now have some serious clearing up to do. Thank you so much for cheering up my morning. I can't wait for the next installment xx

Jell6Graduate in reply to Flaggingrunner

I learned that lesson in a coffee shop last time he was doing this!

😆 seems to be constant theme!

Love it! Nearly spat my coffee out,byouvw got to laugh haven't you.By week 9 I'm sure you too will be way on the way to being a beautiful creature

Keep running 😁

PaulS83 in reply to Wigsy

It’d take a lot more than running to sort me out!

That’s the funniest thing I’ve read in ages! Totally cheered me up on this dreary morning 😂

Glad to be or service!


I've just choked on my Fruit & Fibre (other cereals are available). Thanks for giving me a laugh this morning!

PaulS83 in reply to PandaCory

😆 there’s a lot of choking going on over this post!

An excellent exposition there! But here's a simple solution - just wear shorts and two top layers as winter proceeds Your legs soon get used to the weather, but keep your hands and head warm. I'm not young or beautiful either! 😉

PaulS83 in reply to RRhu68

Yes, the leggings have now been retired (and irreparably soiled). Shorts all the way from now on.

nowsterGraduate in reply to PaulS83

Soiled? I didn't think you could compost man-made fibres. 😉


🤣🤣🤣🤣 still laughing, fabulous post and I dislike those gazelles as much as you do.

PaulS83 in reply to TotalNewbie1

I don’t dislike them, but they should be banished from the face of the earth.

Haha I just love that. It has made my day to read that! ;)

Excellent, thanks


PaulS83, I’ve only just discovered you via this post which has had me in such stitches of laughter (I hope that doesn’t come across as unsympathetic - it’s not meant to!) that I feel the need for a laughing option alongside the ‘like’ option on here. I couldn’t even finish reading it out to my partner through my tears.

I wish you better luck with your wardrobe choices going forward. I’ve only just managed to overcome my sense of intimidation of the beautiful people.

PaulS83 in reply to Triphazard

Ha, thank you. I've got to say though that for all my talk, I was back out their again this morning, leggings'd up to the hilt. I just can't help myself.

This was a brilliant read, thank you!

Today I started my C25K journey. Having lost 2.5st, then putting 1st back on, I've decided to get active.

Woke up early this morning, got myself ready and out I went. I too wore leggings, however, halfway through my jog, when passing an elderly couple who were walking their dog, I realised I had forgotten to put my shorts on! So those poor people got to see my carrot and swedes jiggling round OK, I exaggerate - button mushroom and garden peas, but you get the idea. Couple that with the general sight of an overweight, red faced, heavy breathing and sweaty fella - I feel their dog won't be going for walkies in that park again!

I've set a reminder for my 2nd run. And then an additional reminder that says 'wear shorts', so hopefully I won't have a repeat of today!

PaulS83 in reply to D2theC

Haha, brilliant. I kind of think old people are more stoic about the whole thing than say, young, self-righteous mums. Must be something to do with the impaired vision.

nowsterGraduate in reply to D2theC

I can recommend long "up to the knee" socks as an alternative to leggings. You know, the sort that you'd have to wear in your school PE football kit.

For me at the moment, leggings are for when it's really cold: 3°C or below. I do have a choice of compression tights, which is what PaulS83 was emasculated by, or specific running tights which are slightly thicker, less likely to take your singing voice up an octave, and tend to have zips at the ankles.

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