Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Things I have learned about running

A few things I have learned about running:

  • Like Muttley you will be motivated by the promise of medals.
  • Running does not make you thin. Actually it might make you thin, it does not make me thin. That's because I am Mrs Greedyguts. It has made me drop two dress sizes but far I'm from Paula Radcliffe proportions (except in height). I'd rather be a slightly - ahem - well covered runner and eat cake.
  • The smaller the dog, the more it wants to bite you. The wraith that nipped you on the soft part of the back of the knee and then disappeared was a collie. The fiend hanging from your arse by its canines is a Jack Russell terrier. Labradors will bounce on you in the manner of the Dambusters but that's okay, they are "just playing".
  • If you run in torrential rain and gale force wind well meaning people will try to rescue you. They will stop their cars, look concerned, offer you a lift and ask "ask you sure" when you decline. They will then watch horrified from their cosy dry cars while you take off your waterproof jacket because you are too hot.
  • One day you will set off on a nine mile run in the full knowledge that you would rather stay at home sticking pins in your eyes. After mile seven you will suddenly feel like a running machine, nay a gazelle, and you will fling yourself along wondering why the whole world doesn't run, like, everywhere man. You will feel peace and goodwill to all men (and women) and even smile at dogs.
  • The next run you do will be hell and you will consider throwing your trainers in the dustbin and taking up the sport of tiddlywinks.
  • Never breathe in as you are passed by a diesel car or a smoker or (worst of all) a smoker driving a diesel car.
  • In the most beautiful, remote and isolated point of your run you will find a used condom.
  • Horses will behave as if you are making towards them down the road with the sole intention of causing their early death. If you run up silently behind them they will run away and their riders will hate you. Riders who have never encountered you running before will think they can out trot you. They are wrong. You will catch them up and piss them off.
  • Those same horses will snore quietly in their fields without batting an eyelid as you run past them. With no rider there's no point in making the effort to act scared.
  • When the sun is out it's too hot to run. Snow and ice is impossible to run in. Rain is a pain because you get wet both inside and out in a waterproof jacket. On two days of the year conditions will be perfect. Those are the days on which you will have dental appointments.
  • You will see masses of wildlife. Most of it squashed flat on the road.
  • Running is the answer to most of life's problems unless your problem is a broken leg and then it isn't.


  1. That is a very funny list of lessons learned - thank you for sharing! So much more fun and enlightening than the usual articles you get in fitness magazines.

  2. I really enjoyed your post about things you've learned about running! This is what they should put in fitness magazines.

  3. Still sounds hellish, even as I laughed....

    I know a rather lovely young labrador who would quickly dodge out of your way and make no attempt to engage with you as you run. Unless you are carrying a ball, in which case, give up at once and hand it over, or she will follow you home.

  4. The most I could ever manage when running was a couple of miles. My hubby reckons you get a great endorphin rush which makes it all worthwhile. I just feel like I'm going to die!

  5. The nearest I come to running these days is on a treadmill in hospital when I / they thought I had suffered a heart attack. I hadn't (it was indigestion!) And when I used to try to run, I got asthma. So I think it best to sit by the fire and read again your list of what you've learned about running, so long as I don't bring on an asthma attack from laughing.

  6. Have you read, What I talk about when I talk about running by Huraki Murakami? You would like it I think. On Amazon.

  7. This is absolutley brilliant and had me laughing like a drain as I so know many of these truths esp about the running nine miles then on the next run longing to stick pins in your eyes! Quite the most brilliant post about running ever!

  8. This is the most brilliant post! I tried to take up running earlier after we came back from ferocious Austrian walking holiday. Maybe I just began to touch the edges of this-could-be-good territory but there was so much pain and it turned dark and wet and, worst of all, windy and I am talking on top of big hills wind. There is nowhere to go here which is not either very steeply up or very steeply down. That's what comes of living on the side of a valley. I'm sorry. I wimped out. Now, if I start again, it will be as painful as when I first started, won't it?

  9. Before I get on to the running bit, let me tell you what fun it was to read about your Heck of a Time.

    Now on to the running. I admit that I do not understand the appeal, even though I have known and still know many who've tried to convince me. Guess that I am a long distance walker, through and through. None of that kept me from completely enjoying what you've learned. xo

  10. Blessed are those who run round in large circles, for they shall create big wheels.

    While wheeling about, the dogs will ignore you, because you're not in a race. The horses will raise their heads, inquisitively, wondering why any human would behave in this manner.

    After throwing one's trainers in the dustbin, instead of tiddlywinks, perhaps crossword puzzles. Or blogging.

  11. Fantastic post Mags, and what an array of medals. I am a complete addict when it comes to running, but have never ran in any competitions. I always run alone through the fields and up the hills. You forgot to mention the skill of trying to run with your mouth closed in the summer months for fear of 'vacuming' in a fly or two... always happens to me.

  12. Great post! Must agree that I did find it hard to run when I had a broken ankle.

    I always enjoy covering far more ground than if I was walking - I love exploring all the paths and tracks in the area.



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