Friday, 20 June 2008

Jogging hell

So, the recent horrifying arrival of my 35th birthday (I was so sure I was going to be 34) made me make the appalling decision that I would have to start taking exercise. This was based on the fact that 5 years of sitting around drinking, smoking and eating was not having the expected result of turning me into a slender reed who can look good in a potato sack. It just made me look like a potato sack.

Having realised that I was actually going to have to do something to fix this I promptly ate two mars bars and rang a friend who seems to like exercise. I suggested that she might like me to come running with her and once she had recovered from the desire to laugh hysterically, and had assured herself that I didn't want to just run to the pub, she foolishly agreed to let me accompany her in her bi weekly run around the lanes.

I thought I would try out this running lark myself on Wednesday night without an audience. So armed with my only pair of tracksuit bottoms, that I normally use for painting and so look like an advert for Art Attack, I took the loyal hound and decided to run to the cattle grid, just half a mile away. This was not a success. Quite aside from the fact that as a plan it involved running, the field my track runs through is filled with cows and their brand new, wobbly legged calves. It seems that they view jogging with great suspicion (so do I come to that). Having let me through on the way out they point blank refused to let me back. Consequently, it took 30 minutes of negotiating myself through a bog and two streams to get home and I was thoroughly off running by then.

However, as the genuine bona fide heroine of this tale (also the villain as I am the only character), I met up with said friend for a run last night. She promised no undue strain and we started walking, which I thoroughly approved of. Then she suggested we break into a slow jog. This was not too bad for the first 100 yards. After a mile (most of which I walked) I could no longer feel my legs. Instead I could feel two limp pieces of spaghetti attached to my trainers. I had no control over my pasta leg substitutes and it is a miracle that I didn't just splat nose first onto the comforting tarmac. And we hadn't even turned for home yet.....

My jogging tormentor was amazing - full of encouragement and not one word of bitter reprimand that her four mile run had turned into a long walk with me huffing like an asthmatic carthorse. We finally, after a few more yards of me whining like a child did a bit more jogging, interspersed with a lot more walking. We made it home having been thoroughly drenched by a light welsh shower that saturated every article of clothing and gave me enough water to wring out and fill a water butt. This at least solves my water shortage dilemma.

I thought that was the worse over, until I woke this morning. And couldn't move - at all. Stiff as a board was nothing on me. I couldn't bend anything. If you had starched me I would have been bendier. I finally made it to a telephone to phone my jogging guru and find out if this was remotely normal or if she could perhaps send an ambulance there and then.

Now I am publicly stating that she assured me this was normal and that it would only happen once. That I would run like a gazelle next time (Sunday)and would never be stiff again. And by god, if I am going through that exercise torture again she had better be right.

I'm not sure that I don't love being a potato sack having found what all those slender reeds are going through .....

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