Last Sunday I went for a run! So what! I may hear you say.
Well I can’t do it very well that’s what!
It was my first run for about 5 years, and I use the word ‘run’ in the loosest form possible. I tend to use the word….lollop. For that is indeed what I do, I lollop along like a big old lollopy lollop thing, flappy, flabby and short of breath… but I really enjoy doing it. Ok enjoy may not be the word that comes to mind when I’m doing it but afterwards, the sense of achievement I get is really affirming.
I’d been promising myself this run since the New Year and on Sunday last I woke up and really felt it. ‘Yep today is the day that I’m going to try to run.’ Maybe it was because I had the house to myself and no witnesses to my ‘gearing up’ for the run, maybe it was because the sun was shining and all looked quiet outside – again not many witnesses to see me lollop by.
I am not a natural runner, I don’t really know if I can run as I was stopped from doing PE at the age of 9years old and the last running I did was a 100m sprint in which, I believe I came 3rd. But after an unfortunate incident with a PE teacher at middle school I was stopped from doing any kind of PE or sport (apart from swimming) at school. So running doesn’t come naturally or easily to me, but yet it is something I have always admired in others, something I loved doing as a child, running about, feeling the world rush by. When I say this was my first run in 5 years, my running before that was er.. ..herm… no more than a 2 and half minutes lollop on the Downs in about a mile long circuit that was mostly walked with about three 2minute bursts of lolloping inbetween.
I feel so incredibly vulnerable when running. I hate the idea that people are watching me struggle, watching me be utterly rubbish as they sail past in a steady jog not breaking a sweat. I am not fast or strong in my lolloping, my breathing is heavy and laboured and goes against my dancer instinct of being light and airy and making everything look easy (it’s taken me till recently to realise that a lot of the time when I dance I actually hold my breath through certain sequences until I reach a stage where I can pause for breath – this is NOT good either!). My senses are very much dulled as I am solely concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other and getting enough air into my lungs. This sounds crazy, but I feel that if someone was to jump out at me/attack me/point and laugh at me I would not have the strength nor the breath to fight back, run away, or realise what was happening (which I realise is a complete contradiction of feeling that people are watching me, but hey that’s how I feel).
So not a runner then.
So Sunday. I did my stretches and stepped out into the morning, I ran up the path to the top of my road, realising halfway through that it was a slight inclination…. I reached the end and had to stop. I thought I was going to die, I was struggling for breath and my body felt like it had been put through a spin cycle on the washing machine… I had lolloped about 10meters…. I think. I started to walk waiting till my breath had evened out and I felt my legs weren’t going to give way. I probably walked over half of my circuit (that definitely wasn’t a mile now that I have moved and am no longer near the downs) interspersing it with jogs that got shorter and shorter in duration.
I ended my lollop with the run down the road I had run up and entering my house convinced I’d given my self a coronary! My face was bright red, my legs all but giving away, gulping lungfulls of air, I was sure I was going to puke and all I could do was just lay on the floor not moving until my pulse had stopped jumping about, my breathing had steadied and I could stand up with out leaning on something. So I stretched my body out and sat down. Thinking I would quite like a nap now.
About 15 minutes later I felt AMAZING!!!! Like all my senses just honed in, into something sharp and clear, yep I want to keep running! (I actually felt the same sensation later that evening after I’d burnt myself on the oven cooking for friends – which is an interesting observation for someone who is interested in other states of mind).
So, I’m not great, but it was after a fashion an enjoyable experience and its FREE!!!! No gym membership, no fancy equipment to learn how to use, no strings attached.
I plan to run this weekend coming, but only if its not raining….