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Sunday 1 July 2012

Monday Fun Run

Writing is such a sedentary occupation. My daily commute between desk and fridge could hardly be called exercise and although I wear a pedometer everywhere and try to do 12k steps per day, all that chocolate cake was heading south and staying there. You know what they say - "A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips"! I belonged (reluctantly) to a gym for years, until I was seven months pregnant with my last baby. When I fell asleep on one of the static bikes, I decided it was time to give in gracefully. Actually it was a relief - I had no interest in the competitive aspect of who had the latest kit, and the fees were rising every year.
Spool on a dozen years. We were on our way to The Organic Food Shop, which involves driving up Crickley Hill.  This is notorious locally as the graveyard of juggernauts, especially in icy weather. Here's the view from the top:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/gloucestershire/360/crickley_hill.shtml
 As we ground our way slowly up the endless incline, I heard myself saying : "I wonder if I could run up here?". I have no idea where that idea came from. I hadn't done any sort of exercise for a dozen years, beyond walking to and from school on the daily delivery. At school, I'd been the kid who was always last to be picked for teams. My love of food and driving a desk all day had a terrible effect on me. To cap it all, a bout of reactive arthritis had left me nervous of stressing my joints - well, that was my excuse, anyway. That one idle thought would have gone the way of all the rest, but a few weeks later our local clinic offered free health checks. As walking wasn't shifting my excess baggage and I'm congenitally unable to diet (I was born without willpower), I decided to go along in the hope they'd say "You're fine. Keep taking the chocolate cake."
Unfortunately, they didn't. I had to get active, and they recommended the NHS's "Couch to 5k Plan". I tried it, and it almost killed me. Too unfit to risk ridicule by running on the roads, I started on a treadmill. Week One was supposed to be a brisk five minute walk, the running for 60 seconds followed by walking for 90 seconds, repeated for twenty minutes. I did one repetition, had to walk for two minutes the second time, then gave up. It felt like the NHS was trying to drum up business rather than get me fit. There had to be another way, but I was too exhausted to look for it. Luckily, a few weeks later DD came home from the library with a book called "Running Made Easy". It was funny, it was non-threatening, and best of all, it made me want to try again...
I'll be updating my progress regularly, so call back to see whether I ever get to run up Crickley Hill.
Have you got a huge ambition?


  1. I've started taking the dogs out in the afternoon (OH does it in the morning). But as they dont get on very well on the lead - I take one at a time. Just need to get over the big brown eyes when its the other ones turn...

  2. Thanks for commenting - it's such a shame you can't take both out together. Hope it's good dog walking weather for you today!