On Running

Like many an aging, overweight, mid-thirties fellow, I had something of an awakening a few years ago. I woke one day and realised that a great deal of weight I’d lost early in the decade had somehow reappeared, in what felt like, overnight.

That, of course, was not the case. A combination of a deleterious couple of years slowly eradicating my self-confidence through Tinder, the demise of my band, and the creeping spectre of imposters syndrome all led to an expanding waistband.

Something had to be done, and over a 6 month period, I again dropped over 20kg and have largely stayed in decent nick in for the past 3 years. I’m often asked how I did it, and I have no great answers, but running – for the most part was not part of it.

Oh god, I hated running. The one-foot-after-another monotony. The aching bones. The Sore muscles.

Then something of a family tragedy struck. My brother and his wife lost their baby, but something beautiful came of it. To memorialise Ellie, and to thank the hospital, they created a small fundraising operation to raise money for the Bereavement Suite at the maternity hospital. And raise money they did. Over £6000 by the time that it finished.

As part of Graham’s fundraising, he decided to run the Great Scottish Run, a 10k through Glasgow in September last year, and I decided to join him. So we began a journey together apart. Training apart, and eventually running together. And yes, he torched me half-way through, though I plan to beat him next time.

Since then, I’ve found myself in possession of a further 6 medals for various races and runs, and though my now 40 year old muscles still grumble, I began to run at least 3 or 4 times a week – there’s something deeply rewarding in it, and sadly I can’t quite explain why – which is a problem given I’m writing about it.

Still, as is often the case though, life gets in the way. Running in the depths of winter wasn’t fun so I took to the indoor bike, and eventually fell out of practice.

Recently though, I’ve got myself back to pounding the streets, building up to 7 or 8k again and should be back up to 10 in the next couple of weeks.

I mention all of this in something of a ramble because this morning’s run was only a 5k but it was oddly euphoric and had a bloody incredible soundtrack.

I started out with some shuffle on an old Spotify playlist and here’s what it gave me.

Even if it had only thrown up Werewolf I’d have been happy, but to follow that with Whip It, and MyBloodyJesusExplorerOnFire. Absolute class! I ran around Pole Mokotowskie this morning with a ridiculous grin on my face.

So it’s good to be back. One foot after the other.

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