This is something I wanted to shout at the two women runners who flew past me earlier. That, and, “put some feckin clothes on!” This is my gut battlecry when I feel the need to justify my chronic slow pace. I went out this evening for a four miler, complete with dodgy pelvis, hip, foot, [insert pained body part here]. I have to say, it was a gloriously dry and crisp evening; but the rapidly setting sun left a chilly run all the less appetising. Not wanting to flake and retreat to the coziness of the gym, I decided to tough it out. Long sleeves ahoy, and one of those ‘can be a bandana/ski mask/scarf/headband things around my neck for toasty effects, off I went! Brrrrrrrr!
I wasn’t long into it before two skinny, tanned, and probably beautiful girls/women trotted out around me and sped off into the sunset. One had a very short sleeved t shirt on – the other? A frickin VEST top. Exposed arms, shoulders, back and possibly front as well. Seriously. Who wears a vest top when it’s seven degrees out? And where did the tan come from? Who has time for these things?! At that point, I felt like turning back and heading home to my lovely warm radiators and my Snoopy pyjamas. The thought was only fleeting, onward I went.
A mile later, I had settled into a leisurely but constant pace, quite enjoying it all if I’m honest. The cold was a distant memory, apart from my slightly runny nose – running faster, perhaps, than I was. As I began to look forward to the nice long gentle downhill strait ahead of me, two men careered past me in the opposite direction; full of chat to each other, and dressed for summer in their shirts and tees. The fact they were relatively flying, after travelling UPhill, and still had the capacity to have the craic was quite demoralising. I could never be like any of the runners I saw tonight, with their bare arms and legs, and their eight minute miles. It’s at this point I want to roar “BUT I USED TO BE REALLY FAT! THAT’S WHY I’M SHITE! IT’S NOT MY FAULT!”
As I write, a thought has struck. Maybe it’s not because I used to be fat? Maybe I’m just shite at running? Well, not so much shite as just really slow. I only have another 24 years of either maintaining my weight or losing more before I can say I’ve been thinner longer than I was fat. I guess til that happens I can trot my tubby justifications out as much as I want to!
I’d rather be slow and interesting than fast and boring though. I get the feeling that a lot of ‘real’ runners are a bit boring. Or is that a wicked bit of prejudice on my part? I don’t care. Telling myself that the girls and boys who leave me in their wake on the roads are really a bunch of yawning bores makes me feel better as I wind my 12 minute mile way towards the least boring city in the world.