vendredi 21 juin 2013

Running Like A Girl

Running and reading are probably my two favourite hobbies, so this book  (Running Like A Girl by Alexandra Heminsley) was always going to be a winner for me.

I started running ‘properly’ about three or so years ago.  I clearly remember the first time I ventured out onto the seafront, in neon leggings and freezing conditions – I got back and congratulated myself heartily on my achievement, then looked at a map and realised I had run less than a mile in feeble little walk/jog bursts.

However, after that, it soon became easier – making quick progress and visibly improving kept my motivation up until I actually found that I was enjoying myself.  A couple of months later I ran a charity 5K with three friends.  Since then, I’ve kept up running regularly, with only the very occasional little gap due to illness or holiday – I run 5–10K three to five times a week, with a longer run every couple of weeks (or whenever I feel like it) of about half-marathon distance.

I wish that this book had existed when I was starting out.  I think it would have inspired me and made me feel better in about equal measure.  Hemmo describes her first run in a way that sounds pretty much exactly like mine.  Like me, she perseveres and keeps it up, getting better and better.  She sums it up perfectly: ‘because I decided to be able to’.  However, then unlike me, she went on to run six marathons and get much more serious about it than I ever have.

I’m not a big fan of ‘organised’ things.  Part of why I like running is just having the freedom to get out and go.  I’ve done my local Parkrun a few times and really enjoyed it (I highly recommend finding one near you).  However, I’ve never really felt any great urge to train for a marathon or similar – I suppose out of fear that it would suck all of the joy and fun out of it, replacing those with pressure and other such not-fun things.

This book made me wonder about that for the first time.  I cried during Hemmo’s description of her first London Marathon, finding the idea of the huge effort and support combined unexpectedly moving.  I wondered if I might like to try it.

I still haven’t decided.  Don’t expect to find me doing any serious training any time soon.  Still, there’s a lot here to think about.

I really recommend it whether you’re a seasoned runner, starting out, or even just vaguely interested.

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