Well, readers, the other weekend I did my first race. Yes: I am now a runner. I trot round the streets behind our house for 30 minutes very, very slowly three times a week (my colleague said ‘well, if you’re running in Arbury, at least you’ll learn to run fast’ but I do not listen because actually Arbury is not as bad as people think it is, and the streets behind our house are very nice. The street with our house on isn’t nice, but you can’t have everything.) When I say I run slowly, I am not exaggerating. Today I was overtaken by a woman in a pink anorak with bags of shopping, and often cats wander past me and look at me thoughtfully. Anyway, as I often have more enthusiasm and chutzpah than sense and experience (remind me to tell you about Dan’s and my projected trip to Warsaw!!!) I felt that running along a flat street for 30 mins slower than a woman carrying shopping bags was excellent preparation for fell running. Indeed: I felt that in being able to run for 30 minutes I had so far exceeded my own personal expectations that I might as well enter the Olympics or jump off the University Library and fly to John Lewis, as anything seemed possible.
It was not.
I am going to try to extract a moral from this, readers. I did the race (5 miles with a 600 foot hill) with my brother Dan and his friend J, and our first clue that all might not be well was when we got to the beginning. I was expecting children. I was expecting people dressed as chickens. I was expecting, ooh, I don’t know, a hot dog stand, at least 5 octogenarians, someone with a Labrador wearing a themed jerkin, but no. What we got was a gaggle of sinewy men in lycra and women in team vests stretching their thighs out and running backwards and forwards just for fun. The only person who looked remotely less fit than me was the St John’s Ambulance man. Everybody set off twice as fast as I was used to, and when I came to my first hill I made like a Dalek and kind of gave up. I considered taking a short cut and going to wait for Dan and J in the pub but then I thought, no! I am not a quitter!!! (This is where I always go wrong). So I pushed on and I came last. I mean, I didn’t come last by a tiny bit. I came last by a decent margin (apart from all the people who did not finish or indeed, did not even start).
So I said to Dan we would do the same race next year but this time I would train and would do something called Fartleks which apparently are nothing like they sound, much like Burpees aren’t and I don’t know why you can’t call exercises something sensible. So Dan said, we could do that. Or, alternatively, we could do this killer half marathon and it would be lots of fun. So now I am doing a really hard half marathon this time next year, I have suckered in my friend too, and Partner is practically considering getting power of attorney to stop me making independent decisions as it is certain that no good can come of any of this. So here is my dilemma. Obviously I should be ashamed that I came last. I should be humiliated. I should give up. But I kind of… am not ashamed. I kind of.. forget about the coming last part and think, I did a 5 mile fell run! Very slowly!! I finished it! I didn’t die! I am a runner! I am amazing! I am going to buy new trainers and a proper sports bra so I don’t have to strap myself down with layers of lycra! I am proud of myself! Even though I have absolutely nothing to be proud of. I even bought myself a reward for finishing my first race. Admire the practicality!
|Czech crystal. I am so bad at buying practical things to wear that there are no words. I buy this and then I wear pants with holes in them and have one work cardigan. One!|
One more thing (in terms of over-ambitious physical stuff). You may remember, I am competing in the UK Amateur Pole Performer heats this summer (only at beginner level. It will be ok). I am working on my routine, and I have got my song: Marilyn Manson’s cover of Tainted Love. This was my idea for a costume: tell me what you think. I thought I could do a kind of deconstructed punk-burlesque look. So I was thinking a corset like this which is very cheap:
some kind of either short tutu or frilly bloomers:
(I have to have very short bottoms so I have lots of leg flesh exposed to stick to the pole. You see, it’s glamorous), possibly additional feathers around the cleavage, some kind of feathered headband and a great deal of dramatic eye makeup, or, a venetian-type mask if I could see enough to dance:
All deconstructed a bit (bits of ratty lace added? Dyed? Not sure yet).
How does that sound? I’m slightly concerned about my capacity for dancing in a corset: I thought perhaps I could buy it in advance and try it in the comfort of my own home which will finish off the window cleaner if he appears with his Squeegee at the wrong moment but tant pis. And in any case if I collapse through asphyxiation or bang my head on the pole and knock myself out because I can't see in that bit where he goes ‘once I raaaaaan to you. Now I RUUUUUN FROM YOU!!!’ it couldn’t possibly be more embarrassing than the fell run. Except, there might be a YouTube video, though. Wait… O_O