I am not a runner. I would like to be a runner, but for some time, destiny has decided that it is not to be. As a child, my early foray into "little aths" was a mixture of humiliation and disaster. Jeering parents and sniggering fellow students destroyed any dreams of athletic success. I have enjoyed different sports since then, but speed (and endurance) have never been my strength.
Last year I decided to participate in a Melbourne based fun-run of just under 15km, all in the name of charity. I knew if I had to, I could walk the distance within the allocated time, and so I was unconcerned with having to run the entire distance. I began to train. Having been a daily walker for a couple of years now (generally 6kms by 6.30am) I decided the transition would not be THAT difficult. I would continue to walk, jog in sections until I couldn't jog any further and walk again. A slow build up to continual jogging. It all sounded so simple.
Two weeks and one twisted ankle later and my short-lived running career was over (as was my morning walk). It was a tremendous blow and I was genuinely disappointed.
Having tried it and regretted the experience, I decided I would never run a marathon and that fun-run was indeed the oxymoron I suspected it to be. Twisted ankle. Red face. Weak legs. Sweat. It wasn't pretty. And yet - there was a part of me that still wanted to give it another try...
And so, when not that long ago a friend of mine started training and managed to run a 10km fun-run in what I considered to be lightening speed, I was most impressed. I admired her for it. (And whilst it turns out, it wasn't quite lightening speed, for me it was encouraging and she has become my inspiration).
Having since trained a few of her non-running friends, she has now also become my trainer. She has promised that I will be able to run 5km in just a couple of months of regular training. I love her conviction though her confidence in me is somewhat disconcerting. I am just a little bit scared now that I will let her down and I will be her first failure.
Fear is a great motivator, especially the fear of disappointing someone you like and respect so I am now dedicated to at least giving it a go!
It's all in the preparation... and so, last week as the first training session approached, I worried over the important details. Would I be able to make the distance? Would she ever look at me the same once she had had to carry me home after I collapse in a heap? And most importantly, what was I going to wear? We are running along suburban streets and I am in despair about my running attire! OF COURSE! Forget the warm up, forget the diet, forget any preparation, the clothes "the look" are all that matters!
I consider labels, matching colours, hairstyles, head bands, shoes, socks, leggings and hoodies. Do I go the Cindy Crawford (cool and composed) or the Rocky Balboa (I mean business and I don't care what I look like) composition? These are the all important questions when starting out. Forget fitness and weight loss, it's all about looking stylish while my face turns red, I gasp for air, my legs burn and the sweat runs in trails down the side of my face! Wish me luck.