“Let’s do a family fun run.”
My heart sank when my husband strung together words which made no sense to me. Fun and run together in the same sentence? Just no. There is no fun in running. Not for me. But his argument was compelling; we train for this as a family and get fit together over the coming months. And the event he was considering coincided with his dad being over from America. So 3 generations of the Davies family could sign up for this. He caught me at a low moment. I agreed. Stupid woman.
I don’t run anymore. I have done in the past but that was before age started to take away my body. Now my knees crunch as I climb the stairs. My muscles ache just thinking about getting up from the sofa. And to be honest – I just can’t be bothered. But I know I should exercise more. I just have to make myself. So I reluctantly agreed but secretly thought this would get me off my expanding ass and give me a reason to get fit. That was about 5 months ago. Plenty of time to train and get fit. Piece of cake. Or so I thought.
For the last couple of months the family have been in training. I never quite got round to joining them. But with 2 weeks to go I couldn’t ignore the nagging voice (as in Ad’s voice not the voice in my head – that one had been doggedly silent for the last few months) any longer. Once I found my trainers I blew the dust off them and went out for a family run for the first time. They were planning on a slow 1 mile jog so it was a good time to tag along. There wouldn’t be too much exertion. So we set off and within 30 seconds I knew their slow pace was way too fast for me. Gasping as I shuffled along my humiliation was complete as my 72 year old father-in-law left me for dead. Not funny. I swear it took me longer to jog that mile than it would have taken me to walk it. What’s that all about???? The next morning I woke early and decided to venture out on my own to run the mile again. It was better this time and I managed to wipe 3 minutes off my previous time setting a very slow record of about 12 minutes!!!! Rubbish.
Did I feel good that I’d got up off my butt and exercised? No. Was I buzzing with endorphins when I got home? No. Did I enjoy being out there? No. I decided that it was time to acknowledge that training was not for me and I’d tackle the 5k fun run with absolutely no attempt to get fit.
So this morning, the day of the Big Fun Run, I woke feeling a little worse for wear after a fantastic night out with some of our best friends. Now if I was super sensible I would have declined the invitation knowing it was the night before the 5k. If I was even slightly sensible I would have offered to drive and stayed away from the fizz – that’s exactly what Ad did. But sometimes I have no sense at all. In fact, I decided I was going to have a good night and not even acknowledge the looming early morning run. So, as is usual when we go out with this particular group of friends, I ate too much, drank too much and got to bed far later than would have been prudent. So today began with a handful of headache pills, copious amounts of coffee and a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I was regretting my stupidity.
I dragged myself out of bed and we headed off to Cannon Hill Park in Birmingham – in the torrential rain. Excellent! But something happened as we trundled through the park – the sun came out and my headache dissipated. I’m not saying that I was looking forward to the run at that moment in time, but I was starting see things a little more positively. Having not wimped out (I came very, very close!) there was only one thing I could do – try to enjoy it.
And I did enjoy it. Well kind of. Josh was forced to run (well more of a shuffle) with me when Ad decided to up his pace right at the beginning. Ad was trying to catch up with his dad who was determined to make up valuable places in the mêlée at the start – weaving in and out of the crowds like a pro, up and down curbs and over grass verges, all at quite some pace. Josh was not happy that he’d ended up with me. I was too slow. He wanted to go faster. I wanted to go home. I let him go off ahead by himself after he ground me down with his relentless moaning. And that’s when I actually started enjoying it. I wasn’t at all fast but I was running at a pace that was comfortable for me and not stopping much. I crossed the finish line in a respectable 34 minutes. Not bad for an unfit 40 something with a hangover. I’ll take that. My incredible father-in-law completed the course in 26 minutes!
So today I was proud of myself and my wonderful family. And I’ve discovered that running 5k is actually a pretty good way to shake off a hangover. Who knew!