Butterflies in my stomach, dots in my vision, the sudden urge to be sick... I was in full blown panic mode and if I was capable of hyper-ventilating I would have a paper bag already in hand.
Why? I hear you say. What’s got me feeling so awful? The dreaded E word... Exercise!!
Ok, ok so maybe I am over exaggerating slightly and it isn’t THAT bad a thing but by no stretch of the imagination to I enjoy exercise. Ever. Well, unless you count dancing drunkenly in a club! Don’t get me wrong, I try to keep fit and healthy but in a more genteel way, like walking round a lake or taking the stairs rather than the lift but it has been months since I did any cardiovascular exercise. So I must admit when I tentatively said yes to joining the running club at work I secretly thought I’d be ‘otherwise engaged’ come the day.
The hardest thing and the worst thing about exercise for me, apart from the pain of getting back into it after a boozy summer, is the boredom issue. I love the feeling of being healthy and having my heart pumping fast – it’s exhilarating, exciting and of course a good reason to tuck into a slice of carrot cake after as a well deserved reward – but I’m a bit of a flighty character. I can’t entertain myself for longer than 5 minutes so exercise has always loomed as a big chore.
Until, that is, I joined the running club. It may sound horribly clichéd, but it really was a great idea. Our trainer and motivator was Lucy, triathlete extraordinaire who kept us all interested with regular updates on calorie consumption, distance travelled and general facts about running that made us all feel very positive – I honestly wouldn’t have gone if she hadn’t egged me on during the week leading up. But I am so glad I went. We ran in buddies, so I didn’t feel pressured to speed up but ran at a pace I was comfortable with. The faster duo did extra circuits so as a group we were always close by which was nice, it made me feel less unfit!
Regents Park was our setting and I had never realised how beautiful it was a park until we went out. We ran past fountains, flower beds, the London Zoo, lakes – it was beautiful, really it was. Even if I’d been running solo the scenery alone would have kept me interested so the chit chat with my running buddy was an added bonus. As a group we declared ourselves as unfit, scoffing at the start when Lucy said we’d be running 3km. I even remember on us saying ‘ I can do 3km if you give me a piggy back for half of it!’ but 3km came and went and on we jogged, not one of us wanting to stop. We achieved a whopping 3.5km which for our first foray into the world of running clubs was pretty damn impressive, if I do say so myself!
All in all I’m feeling much more positive about the whole thing, I’m even considering running to work! Ok Sioux, maybe take it back a notch – I’m probably not quite that good yet! I’m looking forward to this week’s club, we’re going to push for 4km which if we do will be great, but if we don’t we’re all just happy to be out getting fit and avoiding the costs of those dreaded fitness centres. We’re saving ourselves a bomb (more money for the congratulatory wine at the end!), getting fit, seeing more of London and more than that getting to know each other and having a laugh once a week together. Bring it on I say!
I might start looking for a Christmas dress in the next size down!