For those of you who don't know yet, I, the anti-exercise, have started running. I'm not really sure how it happened. I have always HATED running. I didn't mind a brief sprint, maybe 100m max, but I've never been a long-distance girl. Toooo boring.
I think something happened to me though. Walking just wasn't fast enough any more, and I wanted to get out of the house and run, and to feel tired after it. I had this weird feeling it might clear my head, for some reason. So after months of making excuses (I don't own trainers, it's raining, it's too cold) I just decided I'd do it.
I bought some basic running shoes and some running tights, and looked for some kind of easy training plan that I could stick to. There is this fantastic one called
, made by the NHS, which takes you from being seriously unfit to being able to run non-stop for 5k (3 miles, roughly) in nine weeks. If your computer works better than mine, you can download the podcasts. If not, the descriptions will sort you out - I made a table on a scrap of paper, and tick them off as I go. I just time it with the stopwatch on my wee blue Breo watch (they are even
now, so no excuses). To be completely honest, I thought week 1 sounded too easy, even for me, so I went with the
, which is only 8 weeks long and very very slightly harder.
And guess what? I actually LIKE it now. I even go when it's raining or -1 outside. I like it so much that I bought
to run in. And I'm very pleased to see that
has had a fairly parallel experience to me.
A little bit more on Sweaty Betty, though... I LOVE IT. Their catalogue came to our house one day, addressed to someone who used to live here. I had a look because it had
on the cover (I've always been a fan of ballet clothes). I thought the clothes were amazing (which I NEVER think about sports clothes), and the other cool thing is, they get actual athletes and dancers to model them, instead of the usual twigs. All of the women on their catalogue and website look strong, amazing and gorgeous. It's better than thinspiration. But the BEST thing about it? If you buy something from them, you can become a member for free, which means... you get to go to your local Sweaty Betty classes, FOR FREE. Not kidding. My local one does dance, boxing and pilates. How amazing is that?! I can't wait to go.
In other news, we went to France, and managed to keep up the running despite lazing around in the sun drinking beer...
And exploring near big bridges...
And having a car to drive....
And Dan being a fanny....
(not really, it's just funny how the French aren't very self-aware sometimes. When I taught in France, I had a pupil called Fanny Knipper. SERIOUSLY).
I'm glad that I like France again. I really went off it after my year abroad. Maybe I'll write about it sometime. In the meantime, here is an
about years abroad - always make me laugh and cringe in recognition, down to the crazy landladies and creeps in the street.
On the way home, this happened to my ankle, because I was too busy eating chocolate to look where I was going. I am quite proud of the fact that I still went for a run on Tuesday, despite the injury happening on Saturday. I think that might be my new personal best!
And once it's all better, I'm definitely buying these shoes... so far my boyfriend and my mum both hate them, which usually means they're good ones ;-)
I will leave you with the most
everrrr (I wish I could un-know it - don't think I've ever felt so disturbed. Not sure how it crept back into my consciousness but I'm worried about the rest of my brain now.)
And, to de-traumatise you afterwards, the much more beautiful