Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Past the point of no return

Jesus, is she blogging about running again? Erm yes, sorry.

I've realised that I'm officially hooked, and past the point of no return (for now anyway).

Back in August I blogged about a gang of girls who did a run and didn't ask me to get involved. At the time I was more than a little pissed off about that. How times change.

Now, one of them has got some entry forms for another run organised by the same charity. And where was the first place she came when handing them out? Yup, she appears at my desk and says "you run a lot, don't you?".

Being accepted into the gang would be one thing, but it gets worse in terms of recognising my increasing love of running. They're running two races. A "5 mile road race" and a "3 mile fun run". Well, I pick up the form and go "ooh, 5 mile, that's probably a nice distance". Her face drops. "Well, I was thinking more of 5k, personally...".

Yup, I picked it up and automatically my eyes went to the longer race rather than the shorter fun run. That says a lot about how far I've come.

As does the next bit of conversation. The trainee I share my office with (who may also get roped into the 5k) pipes up "I've never worked out what's fun about a 5k run". I think you can guess what comes next. Despite sharing precisely the same sentiments for 26 years of my life, I wonder who pipes up "oh, I don't know, it's just a short little jog really". Yes, I'm now defending the use of the word fun in relation to runs.

This is, quite frankly worrying. In a good, exercise freaky sort of way, but still worrying. I remember when I changed schools when I was 16. At my old school, post 16 sport was compulsory, but consisted of a couple of hours a week of doing something of your own choice. Swimming, golf, table tennis. There was no need to get overly physical about it. Even before 16,their idea of a long run was twice round the field. I moved school back to a world of compulsory runs. I remember feeling like I was going to die the first time I got introduced to cross country. And the second and third times, to be fair. I hated that experience more than anything else in my 18 months at this place. It was the embodiment of hell. What on earth could be fun about that?

But look back even deeper into the layers of repressed memories, and there's a different story. At primary school there was a yearly run, a competition between two schools next to each other, which basically involved running up and round the smallish hill behind the schools. I remember it, I remember doing it, but I don't remember actually hating it with the passion that I hated that later cross country route with. Maybe it's because I wasn't actually that fat then, and the only thing I hated at 16 was the fact I couldn't do it, rather than the fact it was running.

And now, I love it. Maybe it's partly because it's an individual sport, maybe it's because it's such a visible change from who I used to be, or maybe I really liked it, deep down all along. Either way, I'm definitely hooked. The run is only in March but the application form is filled in and ready to go.


I'm not quite sure what I'm doing in Edinburgh yet, to be honest! I just fancied a trip away before Christmas. Just for the day, but to get away and see somewhere I've not been for a couple of years. I found cheap train tickets so Edinburgh it was. (I found the train tickets and booked a stupidly early train before I found out the date of the Christmas party). At first I thought that if I have to brave the crowds to go christmas shopping, at least I could do it somewhere nice. Or there was the thought that I would devote the day to looking for the party dress, until I found out the date of the party. Then I thought I might just wander round and soak up the atmosphere. I think there's a Christmas market and an ice rink and stuff that I might visit. I might just spend the afternoon in a pub if I'm in that sort of mood. I just wanted a day away, rather than my normal Saturday routine. It's just a "me" day, where I'll decide what I'm doing as I go along.

So any ideas from you natives would be more than welcome!


Blogger chaos said...

For the record, there can never be "too much" blogging about running!

1:31 AM  
Blogger K said...

Yup, I agree. And since a 10K is (sort of, kind of) on my to-do list for next year, it's nice to hear how people get on. I fear I'd still be doing the fun run, but hey.

I loathed cross-country at school, and had you told me I'd be running for fun eight years later, I'd have started to worry for your sanity. I think it was the compulsory element: I have to do it for me.

There is indeed a Christmas market in Princes St Gardens, and the winter fair with the ice-rink etc is right beside it. I warn you, I've seen people coming out of there with delicious-looking crêpes.

And goodness knows, we are not short of pubs. I don't know what kind of shopping you have to do (or how well you know Edinburgh) but if you have time I'd suggest wandering over to the old town - Victoria Street and the Grassmarket in particular - to find interesting wee shops that aren't the same as everywhere else. And the Grassmarket has plenty of decent cafés and pubs etc.

1:43 AM  
Blogger Shauna said...

ack, too late for me to add suggestions. hope you had a great day and wasn't trampled by xmas shoppers :)

6:56 PM  

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