I bloody love running in January, it’s the highlight of the year for me, but why? I hear you scream at me through your running app laden fancy smart phones!! Why? Because despite being unfit (again), despite the extra Christmas poundage I’ve gained (throughout the entire year) last year, despite the gasping, gulping and whimpering noises I make as I’m desperately trying to breath and plod at the same time and despite looking like a sweaty pig running away from the slaughter house (do pigs even sweat?🤔🤷♀️) I can plod out comfortably in the knowledge that everyone now sees me as a beginner runner taking her very 1st steps on this god awful, seemingly never ending, plodding journey (for the umpteenth time!)
Feeling the love
When I first started running, I used to run under the cover of darkness, dressed top to toe in black hoping that no one would see me. Now I get to run whenever I want, morning, noon or night (subject to childcare issues, general motherhood duties and hangovers) I can literally FEEL the love and support as I plod passed all those lunch time walkers, I can see the admiration in their eyes as they clock my steely determination to nail this running shit, even my wobbly thighs have returned to spontaneously clapping for me as I plod and my calfs are so tight and wound up with the expectation that, any moment now, there will be a sudden burst of speed in there somewhere! I have SO got this.
What I’m also loving about our new 2020 plodders, is that knowing nod as you pass each other – was that a nod of gratitude, thanking me for making you look good on your 2nd run out? … you’re very welcome! 😊 Was that a nod of encouragement perhaps, hoping and praying I’d make it far enough away from you before the need for medical intervention becomes real? … whatever it takes buddy 👍 Or was it just a general look of concern? 🤔 … whatever that nod was, whatever it meant to you….. that one little nod meant the difference between me stopping and throwing up in a bush and me carrying on, so thank YOU my intrepid newby running acquaintance.
Non runners guide to spotting a newbie
So, to all of those non-running people out there I thought I’d share with you a list of ways on how to spot a proper newbie runner and some one who’s been playing at running for a few years.
- Newbie runners will have THE cleanest trainers you’ve ever seen – they’ll dazzle you with their brightness and sparkle you into submission …. they’ll also let you know, quite loudly, how much they cost! …. welcome to the “free” sport of running, my friend! These plodders can mostly be spotted jumping over puddles like a gazelle so as not to get crap on their sparkly new trainers.
- Newbie runners running gear will also be as clean and sparkly as their trainers – their tops won’t look as though they’ve been hauled from the ironing pile at short notice, no siree – they’ll even be perfectly colour coordinated from top to toe.
- The female newbie runners will be wearing a full face of makeup and have a perfectly placed ponytail swishing away behind them. Note to all new female runners – when you run, you get hot. Makeup runs. You WILL end up looking like a shaved panda bear but worse still … your perfectly small cleansed pores will open up and in the space of a couple of hours (normally around the time you’re about to present to a large group of senior stakeholders) your clogged pores will revolt and cause an outbreak of acne worse than you’ve ever seen on a pubescent child #JustSaying.
- Back to the topic of running gear, pro male runners can easily be spotted simply by looking at their chests. Yes sir!! Pro runners will have 2 great big grease marks where their nipples should be! If you’ve ever suffered with bleeding nipples as you valiantly run out in the pouring rain, you would have learned that vaseline is your number 1 go to running aid to combat this. Newbie male runners haven’t learned this yet …. they will 😉
- A newbie runner will have no hesitation in stopping their plod and having a little walk break. Pro plodders would be devastated by this …. and will stop to “stretch” or tie up their, already tied up, shoe laces.
- A newbie runner will jog up and down on the spot whilst waiting to cross the road. A pro runner will huff, puff, maybe angrily stop their watch but most definitely glare at the driver as they slowly drive on past.
- In the same vein as the cars point above, newbie runners will happily stop to give someone directions … after they’ve told the lost person just how far they’ve gone and how many miles they have left (all the while jogging up and down on the spot) they will happily provide the directions and wave them on their way. Pro runners will turn up their music and ignore you.
- Newbie runners will be kitted out in the latest, most high tech, sweat wicking, branded running gear. Pro runners will be wearing a t-shirt gained through running various 10k’s, half marathons or full marathons, knowing that even if they’re having a tough run and look like shit, you’ll still be impressed with the distance on their shirt.
- Some (not all) newbie runners, run in silent packs, gently encouraging each other through stilted, gasping, short sentences, to keep moving forward. Pro runners can either be found running solo or laughing, joking and talking as they run past you at the speed of light.
- A newbie runner can be seen bending and stretching to the nth degree outside their office both before and after their run. A pro runner can be heard saying “f**k it! we can warm up in the 1st mile and cool down in the shower”
- Newbie runners can be heard excitedly claiming they’ve just run a 5k without stopping. Pro runners can be seen getting pissed off because its “only” 5k and they wanted to run a 10k
As you can see, it’s a pretty exhaustive list and I KNOW you guys could quite easily add to it … the pressure is really on for me now though! if I don’t start to improve by February I’m going to always look like a newbie plodder ….. which I guess isn’t so bad because you know what? newbie runner or pro runner, it really doesn’t matter. We may look crap while running, but you, dear non-running friends, look crap while you’re sitting on the sofa ….. and I know who’s going to fit back into her jeans first.
Until next time