Now I know this blog is about riding, but to be honest most of the riding I do is (to others at least) quite boring. Work / home / work / school / coaching etc.
So I thought I would report on my latest daft idea. Last night I joined a beginners running course.
I am still trying to justify this as a rational idea. My husband runs (he’s quite good for a cyclist) my son can run (when he can be bothered) I, however run like a fish rides a bike.
Why? is the question I am still asking myself.
This goes part way as an explanation; I attempted the Huddersfield 5km Park Run last year. I chose a foul morning when I thought it would be quiet and I could bimble around like a middle aged lady that can’t run. That cunning plan was an absolute failure as I was busted by a friend who encouraged me to run round with her and her son with a promise ‘they would keep it steady’. It was the most hideous half hour of my life since giving birth. After about 10 paces I felt like I had a brick trying to work its way through my insides (so that’s why you don’t eat before you run) This agony then rapidly became the onset of cramp in places I didn’t know you could get cramp. Friend gave me much encouragement along the lines of ‘the first lap is a short one – the next two are longer’ and ‘wow – your laps are getting quicker’. The reason they got quicker was it was the only way I could see an end to this misery. My legs by lap two felt like they had been filled with yoghurt and my breathing would have got me a job on an adult chat line. I have never seen the ground move so slowly in my life EVER. After crossing the finish line I literally crawled back to my bike. I have never ever been so glad to get back on a bicycle in my life. Two days later I still couldn’t walk and was still going down the stairs backwards.
So that is why I joined a begginers running course. I thought if someone taught me to run, it couldn’t possibly be so bad.
I arrived at the Stainland Lions club house to join over a hundred other fools. We completed the necessary admin (emergency contact details, a wise precaution after my last attempt) and then were lead out to the rugby pitch. I had already ascertained that some of these ‘beginners’ were fibbing. One lady said she used to run 55miles a week, but stoppped after a change in job. Others are recovering from injury (I’ve always said running was dangerous) Some are gym bunnies who could happily do an hour on a treadmill.
We were told to run round the pitch and then were lead through some stretches. By now I had stitch. Then were set off on a longer lap of the two rugby pitches. Our instruction was to go as fast as we could. So I did. I don’t like running so this seems logical. The quicker you go; the sooner it’s over. That was a mistake. I was the first lady round and promptly got banded as a ‘confident runner’.
Well pride comes before a fall as my granny would have said. I had seriously thought we would now be handed over to a running guru who would impart words of great wisdom and show us some basic techniques. I was anticipating wise words on pace, foot fall, stride, recovery, posture etc.
We got none of that. We ran 2 miles at an average pace of 9mph. We even went up a little hill. It was all wrong; no freewheeling, no chatting as I couldn’t co-ordinate breathing with words, no stopping for cake. And to top it off a sprint to end. Next week it’s 3 miles.
I would therefore like to apologise to all those I have coached whom I have said ‘riding a bike is easy’. If it feels like this to you when I’m yelling ‘just one more time’, or ‘sprint!’, or ‘hills are easy, just use your gears’, you must really really hate me.