You know how it is. You’ve been running for ages, then a friend says “I’d like to try running. Can I come with you sometime?”.
“Yeah, of course you can!” you reply full of enthusiasm and vigour. Part of you thinks “They’ll maybe come a few times, then give it up”.
"We’ve all been there, am I right?
So, 6 weeks ago, one of my best buddies, decided she would like to start. We went through all the initial stuff about good socks, trainers and a sound sports bra. Anyway, after a couple of weeks, I could see she had indeed got the bug. So much so, that now she runs practically every day. She also has the perfect gait, the stamina of a lion, and the ability to make me feel completely inadequate.
Joking aside, I am incredibly proud of her. Not only has she managed to lose 2 and a half stone in weight, she has also signed up for a local 10k in September; her first ever race.
It gives me immense satisfaction to see someone have the idea that they would like to start running, then physically hit the road, and quickly get bitten by the ‘running bug’. As I often say to her, “welcome to the club”.
We had an interesting run with another friend of ours this week, who said that she wasn’t a fast runner, but was training for a half. “Could she join us?” “yes of course!” we said.
So, one wet miserable morning we set off down the canal. Now it has to be said that I wasn’t feeling the running love that day. Curling up on the sofa with a coffee and a packet of biscuits seemed much more appealing, but we made the effort and started down our usual route.
My friend who is training for the half marathon, set off like a whippet out of a starting gate, and didn’t stop. I trotted along after her like a St. Bernard on crutches, huffing and puffing. The rain was coming down heavier and I needed windscreen wipers on my glasses. I swallowed two flies, and nearly fell in the canal. Safe to say, it wasn’t pretty.
What it did do however, was teach me something. I have been running solo for 6 years. Going out with friends has taught me a colossal amount and benefited greatly on all levels.
A gentle 7k turned into a training session and 8k. Despite the fact I was knackered, hot, drenched and picking flies out of my teeth for the next hour, I was immensely grateful to her for whipping me into shape. I had become complacent, and needed a kick up the backside.
I always say that I am not a good runner. I’m not fast, my stamina is fairly crap, and I probably look like Mrs Merton out for a stroll. But it is fair to say, I make up for it in enthusiasm. But getting out there, and doing it, is the most important thing.
There is that saying “No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping those on the couch”. Hold on to that thought, people.