I run and I am fat
As Fifibelle (http://zombiefinger.blogspot.com/) has pointed out to us, there are a lot of runners' blogs out there. Huge chunks of diarised running schedules, times, distances, training suggestions, races to aim for. The one thing that most of these earnest blogs have in common is that they lack a sense of humour.
Agreed, running is hard. It is difficult to keep going when your legs, lungs, heart, puffing mouth and mind are all screaming at you to STOP before you've even started. It is hard to stop your brain from entertaining itself by replaying 'Pass the Dutchie on the left hand side' over and over and over for the next hour, and even harder to convince yourself that all of the effort is worth it.
However - and there is always a however - there are runners out there who are not whippet thin little munchkins who run 200km a week nor whom are training for their 17th marathon and hope to do it in less time than sitting through the Fellowship of the Ring. People like me for instance. Slightly chubby, definitely daggy but somehow dogged little beings who stick at it.
Why do I run? To combat a serious disease - fatness. You see, I love chocolate. Not just a little bit, a lot. If I could inhale it for breakfast, lunch and dinner I would. In fact I have. Throw in a few rows of Cadbury's, Nestle or Lindt for morning smoko, afternoon tea and supper and I'd be a very contented girl. Sadly, also a very fat one. The kind who would end up hitting the low point when the truss holding up my body in front of the chocolate would eventually snap under the strain and I'd feature in the news 'humour piece' after the weather when the zany reported stands outside filming the crane and hydraulic lift working overtime to get me out of my house and into a fat farm for fools..........
As such, in 2001 I made a new years resolution to start jogging. All I could manage was three laps around the school oval in a passable imitation of an arthritic crab with a socially unacceptable flatulence problem. This shame was actually enough to keep me going so that eventually I could do fifteen laps, or 6km.
A few months later I ran 12km in the City to Bay fun-run. It was then that I knew I was getting hooked because I was upset with my time and prepared to work harder to run it in under an hour next time. Which I did. The 12km runs then became part of my regular running schedule, then 15km, 17km, 20km and 22km. I managed to survive a half-marathon at a time when the stress levels at work were at an ulcerating, irritable bowel-shaking, migraine-messing high. It was then I decided to stick to the slow and steady pace of 6km runs with the dog three or four times a week.
Unbelievably, I started to look forward to falling out of bed at 6.00am and going for a run. On the days that I didn't (illness, away, lazy, whatever) I would feel sluggish, guilty and dreadful. It gave me some time on my own (unless you count an enthusiastic corgi/jack russell scooting in and around me) and valuable thinking time.
Running also means not looking very pretty. In addition to the Just-got-out-of-bed messy hair, dragon breath, eye boogers and folded-up face, there's sweat patches, red cheeks (that last for hours afterwards) and farting to deal with. Yes, farting. Try jogging your body up and down for a minute or two and you'll end up sounding like the percussionist for the Baked Beans Band. There aint nothin' you can do about either - it is just not possible to push it back up like you can do at work - I've frightened little old ladies out to pick up the paper on their front lawns, power walkers and tradesmen with my bum blasts as I've jogged by. I'm not proud of it, but I sure as hell can't help it.
The lack of prettiness also extends to the feet. Mine are size nine which is kind of largeish for a female, but hey, at least I've got good balance. Running long distances when training for the half marathon meant that my toes were banging rather too regularly against the end of my shoes. This led to two huge, blackened big toenails that eventually (and rather colourfully, I might add) fell off entirely. Not a good look these past few summers when wearing open toed sandals and slides; nor the peeling flaps of skin draping from the blisters on my heels.
This seems like a fair bit of exercise and commitment, doesn't it? Yet I am ashamed to reveal that I have gained weight. Five kilograms to be precise and they were after I'd showered, cut my toenails, cleaned out my ears, filled up several tissues and been to the toilet. Definitely not good and I suspected that Running Australia weren't likely to be chasing me to be the Beginner Runner Poster Girl any time in the future.
It's a quandary - reduce the chocolate or increase the running? Reduce the chocolate and increase the running? No chocolate and no running - I can't believe I just wrote that last one!
I'm saving up my money to buy a portable, high-powered treadmill. I'll simply hop on it as soon as I unpeel a block of chocolate, and stay on it until I've consumed every single morsel. Easy!