Tuesday, 18 October 2011

A is for A-H- and it’s long over-due!

Winter has officially arrived in Yorkshire- the howling wind threw one of my poor little plant-pots against the shed last night and smashed it to pieces. Not wishing to meet the same fate as my perennial, this morning I reluctantly went to the gym. It was absolutely heaving: I had to wait in line for 20 minutes just so that I could run on the spot for ages… in the same place… looking at the same damp patch above the cross trainer whilst working out which celebrity it reminded me of (Paris Hilton.)
            I’m sure I should know exactly what I lifted and how many reps I did on the weight machine thingies. I’ll try to be as precise as possible just in case anyone is following my (very strict and scientific) training regime.
            Running: 4 miles. 40 minutes, 10 seconds.
            Sit-ups: 100 ish
            Weights: Pulling things – I stopped when it hurt
            More weights: Pushing things – I stopped when I got bored
Even more weights (it was raining outside and I didn’t want to get my hair wet running to the car): Pushing a dial thing round in circles- I stopped when I thought my arms were going to fall off.
Phew, it was hard work as you can tell. The GREAT news is that, during my 40 minutes and 40 seconds of pointless pounding, I finally finished my A-Z! HURRAH!
            It’s so HUGE that I have decided to post it in instalments. So today is instalment number 1: A-H…H is for - Hope you like it! x

Good things about running- HURRAH!
Bad things about running- BOO!

Abs. You know those people you hate- the ones with toned and defined stomachs who can eat what they want and never gain a pound? You’re one of them now! Hurrah! Your abs look awesome and you should definitely start to wear low slung jeans and/or crop tops to show off your well deserved, hard fought for definition. Even if it’s cold, Hell, even if it’s snowing crank up the thermostat and sit around in a bikini… just because you CAN!
Ambition. In your pre-running life, you spent many happy hours watching Friends re-runs with nothing but a family sized bag of M and M’s for company. Now you crave more… try eating two family sized bags of M and M’s and if that’s still not enough, I’m afraid you’ll have to go running. There is no other cure.  
Arses who masquerade as experts. There is always someone who has better abs/ has run more miles/ can do it faster etc. Ignore them all!!! I happened to mention to a guy in my yoga class that I was training for a half marathon and he replied that, in his younger days, he had been able to run a 3 minute mile. Thinking this must be normal, I tried to run 3 miles in 9 minutes… I collapsed after 0.5 miles and am still convinced that my Nanna (who died 2 years ago) appeared and told me to walk towards the light.  
Booty. Your booty will be pert and gorgeous, it will be toned and muscled. You MUST take photographs of said booty and keep them in a frame so that, when you are too old to run, you will always have the fond memories of when your derriere looked like it belonged to one of the Pussycat Dolls. Go out in a short skirt, go out in a bikini, go out in a thong…but be sure to show that booty off ladies. Work it!
Battered, bruised, boobs which will bounce out of your bra and either give you black eyes or attach themselves firmly to your knees and refuse to bounce back.
Boils! On your bum, on your face, where your bra straps have rubbed… everywhere! It’s a bloody good job that your booty is so toned because it takes the attention away from your zits!

Calories. As in, you can have loads and loads of them… fill your boots. The only other time you can eat this much without feeling guilty is when you’re pregnant. The good thing about running though is, while you are wolfing down your third pepperoni pizza, you can look in the mirror and STILL see your abs. Running really is the sport that just keeps giving!
Carb loading. It IS JUST AS GOOD as the name suggests! Move over Dr Atkins, you’re blocking my path to the pasta- BURN!
Change. I’m sure that you, your sofa and your remote control have enjoyed a long and happy relationship but lately, you’ve changed. And the changes might not stop at you deciding to run instead of nap. They might extend into other parts of your life too- you might suddenly find yourself brighter, happier and feeling more in control of your life. You might meet every day with a beaming smile and bound to work whilst bluebirds encircle your head twittering happily…  
Okay, I admit it. The last sentence is probably rubbish (and I think I might have stolen it from Disney). Running is a sport not a miracle worker. Jeez!  
Collagen. Apparently, running literally pounds the collagen out of your face. This is always good to remember when you’re 6 miles into a 10 mile run and everything hurts- NOT!

Delicious male runners. You’re half way through a 10 mile run, you’re hot, sweaty and sticky. Suddenly a hallucination of pure perfection approaches you: six foot three, dark haired, designer stubble…you get the picture. He’s gorgeous. You straighten your shoulders, instantly energised (and have a cheeky look at his bum as he burns past you- nice!) Running certainly has its perks!
Diet. YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE ON ONE! YIPPEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Delicious male runners
I forgot to mention that your face is the colour of beetroot and your hair is jutting our at random angles. You are also wearing spandex and a fanny pack. Can you see how fast that delicious male is running? That’s because he’s terrified of you!
Drinking. Apparently you’re not supposed to run when you’ve drunk too much alcohol. I learned this when I ran a mile (my fastest ever) in pumps when I was more than a little worse for wear. I couldn’t walk for almost three days. Lesson learned!  
Driving license. I use mine to drive myself to places like the canal. Then I get out of my warm, dry car and run in circles in the rain for 12 miles. Then I get back in my car and drive home. Perhaps, I should just drive 12 miles with my Micoach app thingy on and save myself a whole lot of trouble and pain!

Energy. You’ll be like a cross between the Energiser bunny and Tigger from Winnie the Pooh. Don’t be surprised if people start to avoid you because you keep saying weird things like, ‘hey, let’s go for a walk/jog/run at lunch-time or ‘Kayaking, that’s something I’ve never done. Anyone fancy it?’
Endorphins. They are awesome! They make you feel high in a completely legal way (although I do think that short shorts should be made illegal). Do be warned though that they are addictive.
Endurance. If running teaches you one thing it is that, unless you are ill, you can improve your body. Your body will endure miles and miles of pounding, it will get soaked in autumn showers and burnt by the sun but it will still be there, ready and willing to go ( as soon as you’ve peeled the ice packs off your knees, shins and thighs) .
Enthusiasm. You’ll be dripping with it, unfortunately, not everyone shares your love for the noble sport. Don’t be offended if people run away when they see you coming (please refer to ‘energy’ for further details!)

Flow. You’re running along with the wind behind you. Suddenly everything looks beautiful, the birds are singing, the experience is sweet! That’s, like, totally ‘flow’ man!
Flumps. Have you EVER tasted such a delicious, mouth watering, sugar injected, soft and scrumptious, life affirming treat. They are only 30 calories each: which means you can eat HUNDREDS of them in one sitting and you will gain absolutely no weight…at all… Genius x
Forums. This has been the biggest shock to me since I became a virgin (half marathon runner just so that we are clear). I’m a member of four running forums and all of them are absolutely amazing. I’m pretty sure that picking my favourite is as morally wrong as saying which of my 2 kids is my favourite so I definitely won’t- I’ll run my Daily Mile instead (nudge-nudge-wink-wink!) If you want to moan or need someone who’s going through exactly the same thing as you to tell you that you’re awesome and to keep going, find a forum and make some friends.
Fanny pack/ bum bag/ thing you strap around your waist and then hope fervently that you don’t see anyone you know. Yes, you can fit all manner of things in the handy little zippers. Yes, ‘proper runners’ wear them and you feel a bit more professional with it strapped around your waist. But a FANNY PACK? Come on people, have you no shame?! 
Fear (otherwise known as ‘The Fear.) I had never experienced The Fear until I stood on the starting line of my first half marathon. Then my blood started pounding in my ears, my palms became sweaty and I felt a little dizzy. Funnily enough, I felt like that at the end of the half marathon as well- even though The Fear had disappeared at mile 2!
Glucose. Fill your boots people!
Glutes. Otherwise known as butt muscles. I’ll bet you didn’t even know you HAD muscles in your butt, did you? Well, you do and once the donut donated insulation has been run away, you will start to see a whole new side to your delicious derriere!
Games. If you have free head space for an hour each day what should you do? You should play games! Play runners ABC, pedestrian chicken- Hell, play ‘I went to the shop and I bought…’ but play something otherwise you might just go insane!
Goo. Yep, that’s it’s actual name. Manufacturers create a gloopy, foul and nasty tasting product then charge you through the nose for it. Apparently it enhances your performance- all it does to me is enhance my nausea at around mile 8!
Gym. I hate the gym. I hate it because it smells funny. I hate it because I have to wait… in line… for the privilege of running in one place and getting absolutely no-where for hours and hours.
Humiliation. You may think that this should be on the other side of the table but hear me out. If, like me, you humiliate yourself every-time you go running you develop a thick skin. This means that, when humiliating things happen in real life, you are better able to deal with them! Do you see my logic?
Hero. As in, don’t be one! If you need to walk, walk. If you need to sit down, sit down. If you need to duck behind a hedge for forty winks… well… what are you waiting for?
Hecklers. Yes, cider-swilling, smoking teenager, I'm sure you think I should 'keep running' Gosh, I would never have thought of it without your words of encouragement....!!

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