In Training

 Six months ago, the only running I did was a kind of frenzied frailing attempt to get home after a night out. Now, with a half marathon looming round the corner, I almost can’t believe running hasn’t been part of my everyday routine for longer. So being honest; when I began training, I think most people were in disbelief. It was at the point where I was almost embarrassed to tell my parents, in fear of the absolute ripping I’d get from them (and believe me, there have been enough jokes over dinner about my running ability so far). This feeling of embarrassment progressed when my flatmate recommended a book which seemed to perfectly reflect where I was – titled “Run Fat Bitch Run”. She said it helped her aunty run a marathon…sure…

The thing that I’ve learnt about running is it’s a solo sport. Yes, a lot of my friends enjoy running and have suggested going out together for a wee jog. And yes, most of my friends from home will be joining me amongst the thousands of others for the run. But I’m planning this to be a serious solo expedition – I started this on my own, I’ll surely finish it that way.

Running is hard, and everyone has plenty to say about it. There are plenty of questions and suggestions all over the place; people tell you how to run and where to run and most importantly, “How fast are you running?” and “what’s your pace?”. Somewhere people think if they know how fast (or rather slow) you intend to go, it’ll impact their performance. But really all that matters, is your own run. All that matters is you. Do you reckon Usain Bolt thinks about what the rest of the Jamaican team are doing? I seriously doubt it. And not that I mean to compare my snails pace to the faster man in the world, but it’s the same principle.

So how do I feel about the run (which is the current question of the week, apparently everyone wants to know). I feel terrified. I feel underprepared. Someone tried to tell me I was just “tapering”….I don’t know what that means!?! What I DO know is that I haven’t run very far in a long time and my whole body is telling me that it’s not ready to do this. I am also surprisingly laid back about it….because thirteen miles isn’t THAT far…I keep telling myself.

As soon as I can walk after the run, I’ll try to hobble over to my computer and get something written about it to update you. Wish me luck!

Harriet Johnston

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