Run Number Six

Someone told me that it would get easier after run number nine. If not, then I’m going to sit in a dark corner and eat a whole box of Christmas Ferrero Rocher on my own. Today, I have just completed run number six and it was hard. The box of chocolates are on standby.

For sometime I had sat on the idea of running the Hastings Half Marathon. I like the idea of completing it, but the thought of running for three hours frightens me, so I signed myself (and boyfriend) to run the Hastings Half this March. This means that I need to put in the hours if a) want to complete it in a reasonable amount of time, b) don’t want to die and, more importantly c) have the humiliation of not finishing what I set out to do.

The last (which was the first and hopefully only) time that happened, I cried in the middle of the rain forest. Luckily I was on my own, but I was still embarrassed, but proved to me how unfit I had let myself become.

I had already hiked through the Borneo rain forest which had taken us (brother and random, but very nice Dutch man) all day to get to Camp 5. This was the starting point to climb to the Pinnacles – a set of razor sharp limestone rocks which had been naturally eroded and surrounded by spectacular scenery. I’ve seen the photos. It was (and still is) a hard and arduous climb and my lungs couldn’t take the pace. Within half an hour, I was puffing on my inhaler and stopping, so I was sent back to camp. On my own. I was more than disappointed – shamed in fact –  as I had never been turned away from anything before. After all, I had climbed Mount Kinabalu a few years before, which was a lot longer than the Pinnacles hike and had trekked at altitude to Machu Picchu (before it became fashionable by Ferne Cotton et al), so the thought of not completing something didn’t cross my mind.

After two weeks, fitness levels start to fall and I was damned if I was going to lose the small inroads I had been making over the past few weeks. I had also been drinking the night before, so I needed to run out the alcohol. I donned my running gear, and stuck on Kylie’s ‘All The Lovers’ as I had heard it was a good song to warm up to. But, I found it difficult to set a pace for myself, and by track two, had abandoned Kylie. I had a quick chat with an old chap that I walked past. (In Bexhill, chatting to random people and not getting your head kicked in is still the norm.) His advice was to hold my breath for 20 secs before exhaling. It’s good for strengthen your lungs apparently. I tried it and lasted six seconds before I needed to draw breath.

I ran (moved) for about 45 mins today, which isn’t bad and covered about three miles. I am not a natural runner. I find it boring and the cold air tightens up my chest making it harder to breathe. The body and mind are wiling, but the lungs are weak. However, I am determined to cross that finish line in March. I don’t really have any reason not to.

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