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Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Runny Mummy - part 2

Following on from yesterday's Runny Mummy post, here are six reasons I deeply dislike running:
  1. It's HARD and I'm not very good.  Running is painful and exhausting, particularly if you're sleep deprived or you haven't been for a while and you're essentially having to start from scratch with your fitness level. I rarely manage to complete a 5k without having to take a walking breather at least once these days, as I only get to run once per week now I'm back at work. Any longer between runs and even 3k becomes a major challenge, and usually results in several days of 'runner's cough' (confirming my Mum's suspicions that it Really Isn't Good For You).
  2. Post-baby pelvic floor problems. Since having Duckling, I'll be honest, going down steep hills does seem to cause a little teeny bit of wee to escape if I haven't been to the loo immediately before leaving the house. Weirdly this seems to be more of a problem now than when I first started running after I had him, possibly because I've become rather lax about doing my pelvic floor exercises of late. And squeeze...
  3. Looking like a wally. I am not one of those ladies you see running in teeny tiny shorts and vests, gazelle-like legs cooly powering them along at a seemingly unstoppable pace. I am tall, with quite significant child-bearing hips (and bum. And stomach. And thighs.). I go bright red and sweaty within 30 seconds of starting and apparently I run like a girl (which, as I repeatedly point out to Drake, is not surprising because I AM a girl). I therefore feel like a bit of a fraud when I run; an unworthy member of some unspoken runners' club, and half expect the more professional towpath cruisers to stop me and say "Give it up love, you're not fooling anyone."
  4. Hazards and obstacles. Stinging nettles, mud, dog poo, squirrels, lampposts, hedges, opinionated builders... You name it, I've probably run into it at some point.
  5. Injury. Thankfully I have never actively injured myself while running (bar some stings and scratches from the above), but running has on a couple of occasions exacerbated injuries obtained through other means. The worst occasion was when I was doing Pick Up Put Down sleep training with Duckling and had given myself a really bad back. Ignoring the pain, I blithely headed out for a run, only twigging that this probably wasn't such a good idea when I was around 3 km from home. I hobbled back and took a long, hot shower, and discovered on getting out that things had deteriorated further and I couldn't actually walk anymore. All running (and non-essential walking) was put on hold for about four weeks after that while I sought the help of a chiropractor. Genius, given that I only had six weeks before the 10k race mentioned yesterday... This is probably why I finished 142nd out of 156.
  6. Judgement. In the land of social media, all sporting endeavour seems to be used as a tool for self-aggrandisement. I have a number of friends who like to inform all and sundry on Facebook / Twitter that they "ran / cycled / swam X kilometres in X minutes today". I don't, because I run for me, and I'm not especially interested in anyone else's opinion of my achievements. Also, as I mentioned, I'm rubbish. I don't even really like bringing it up in conversation, because you never quite know what reaction you're going to get. Fellow runners often get madly competitive: "Oh cooool, I did the London Marathon last year in 35 minutes - what's your best time?"; others seem to think I'm boasting, "Check you out, Paula Radcliffe!" or passing judgement on them: "Ugh, I don't do anything like that. You make me feel really lazy."; and others are just clueless "Oh wow, running! How did you learn how to do that?" (seriously, someone once asked me this).  It rarely seems to be a neutral topic of discussion however it comes up.  I guess that's like any pastime you make public these days though; it's somehow no longer something you do, but a statement of your identity.  Not 'I run' but 'I am a runner'.  Unfortunately, if my e-mail inbox is anything to go by, being 'a runner' slots you into a neat little demographic niche that marketeers like to fill with all sorts of promotions for Compeed and electrolyte drinks and sports bras.  The only thing worse than these being irritatingly irrelevant (I'm flat chested, OK?  Sports bras are pretty much pointless), is when I am reeled in by one and I actually buy something.  I always feel like writing SUCKER across my forehead in indelible ink as penance.
Anyway.  On balance, it would seem there are more pros than cons. Which is good really, or I'd look a bit of an idiot for persevering with all this cardiovascular lunacy.  Tomorrow: the pros and cons of the athletic endeavour that is pushing an 8lb 14oz baby out of your nether regions.  Spoiler - mostly cons, not so many pros.

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