There is a section of my trip to work favourited by those who like to run. In the morning, lycra-clad Mums, sporting the latest designer leggings and heart rate monitors – or whatever it is they strap to their arms, with not a bouncing boob in sight, jog and puff their way along the pavement. I imagine their fridges full of halloumi and almond milk and their kids packed lunches a homage to healthy eating.
Men feature more heavily on the evening run and also groups of women running together. During the winter months, some have lights on their heads – like surgeons. I imagine how great they must feel, mentally and physically, at the end of it , when they finally kick off their running shoes. These aren’t amateurs or the Couch to 5K crew (although some will hide in their midst for a day or two before falling away ) – they are the elite crowd – the die-hards. They shame those of us who drive past on the evening run, just thinking about dinner.
I have tried many times to become a member of this club of people who get high on a sprint down the park. But try as I might – from an early age, running has always brought pain and wheezing.
Who can forget being forced to run the 800 Metres at school ! Even as a skinny 10 year old, by the second lap of the field I would be struggling to catch my breath and have a pain in my side. For the rest of the school day, I would wheeze each time I breathed. In fact, all through my life, whenever I have attempted to jog or run, each time thinking that today would be the day I relished the blood pumping through my veins as I pounded the pavement- the same thing has happened. It was only recently that a nurse told me I probably had exercise-induced asthma and that I had coped with it by avoiding the triggers, such as running. Hence why I wasn’t affected by it on a daily basis.
At this moment in life my dodgy knee rules out any chance of joining the Run for Fun brigade. Walking, pain free, is my aim these days and things are definitely improving. But any lycra I may buy in the future will probably only grace the hall of a Pilates class or Beginners Yoga and I think I will stick to black.
If you are a Runner, though, I salute you. Those of you who run, rain or shine, dark or light and think nothing of a cheeky half marathon at the weekend, for pleasure alone – you belong to a select breed of human being !