Well knowing it was doable helped, but knowing what it took to do it last time did not. I was dreading this session. I was under no illusions it was time to knuckle down and in the words of the Shia Lebouf meme JUST DO IT! (not so funny now). I got it into my head it’s 30 minutes and all I have to do is what Laura says. That simple!
So I ploughed on through, the first couple of runs seemed a little better than the last time, helped hugely by me setting off at a significantly slower pace. By the halfway mark I was starting to struggle again, that rising feeling of nausea was difficult to deal with, I could literally hear my guts glooping around and it wasn’t pleasant.
The walks were almost as hard as the runs, my feet were killing me after each run. They didn’t hurt when I was running or at least they were lower down in the list of things complaining. But every time I stopped I was literally staggering. Laura reminds me every time not to stop, even though I’m sure just a few seconds standing still would give me some respite.
On the runs, I was struggling to get enough oxygen no matter how much I puffed and panted. In through the nose out through the mouth? Forget it, every orifice capable of ingressing oxygen was being employed and it wasn’t making a blind bit of difference. The sweat by the 4th run was pouring down my face in spite of my baseball cap, stinging my eyes and adding to my overall misery. Not a pretty sight. Luckily there no one around to witness my disintegration.
I came close to quitting at the halfway mark. The realisation that I was only halfway through and would have to do it all again was daunting. But I really wanted to get through the program, quitting now, so soon, wasn’t an option. When Laura finally relented her bullying, I staggered off the field like a toddler taking its first shaky steps.
I am still struggling to come to terms with just how difficult this was. Wondering if somehow I was physically different from every other human being on the planet. That somehow that million-year-old savannah running gene had skipped a generation. Surely it can’t be this hard for everyone, how the hell do they get through it?
A QUICK NOTe ON KIT
A bit early I guess, only on the second run but there’s a couple of items of kit that I’ve found invaluable.
The first deals directly with my biggest problem when doing any form of exercise, sweating! Everyone sweats, unfortunately I have a tendency to start sweating just thinking about exercise and annoyingly most of it comes from a sprinkler system I seem to have installed under my scalp. I’d discovered Under Armour shirts when I started walking. They are made out of an extraordinary material that wicks sweat away from the body. That makes a huge difference, reducing the sweat pooled on my upper body.
The other key bit of kit for me is a baseball cap. Again to manage the sweat rather than “being down with the kids” aesthetic. If I don’t wear a cap or sweatband it’s like being waterboarded. Which can be quite a distraction. It also has the added bonus of keeping the sun off my head, which with my grey and thinning hair is starting to become a very real bonus.
Other than that I’m running in some old Nike trainers, shorts and some sports socks that have seen better days, a phone (with the C25k app) and some Bluetooth sports headphones (the ones that wrap around your ears). I shove this lot in a small rucksack along with car keys, wallet etc. The rucksack is a bit of a pain and I might look into alternatives down the line, right now it’s more secure than using my pockets.