Who knows how difficult it is to even think about starting to get fit. When you have reached my age, and that is passed forty, then you start to wonder if it is even the most dangerous thought that has ever popped into your head. After all, running after kids and pushing the vacuum around is hardly exercise, and now that I have wooden floors even that little bit has been taken away. But there it is, this thought lingering in my mind. Not only that but then someone suggests that I do a 'fun run' for charity. A fun run?! I ask myself, what on earth is fun about running. Of course I make all the excuses under the sun, like why that is probably not the most positive activity for me to do at this time in my life. But does that stop the said someone from giving me the emotional blackmail, 'Oh, but we are going to have mums picture on the tee shirts, and its for Cancer Research UK.'
Well as you can imagine, as those of us who have lost loved ones, relatives, friends, work colleagues though cancer, I am sure that most of you who are reading this will know some one, I just had to agree. And as this is the first proper bit of exercise that I have ever done, probably since leaving school, I need to write this journal to keep my mind focused and on the reason why I am doing this. I just said 'ok, put my name down, I'm joining in'
So this is me, first week of jogging, cycling and dancing about in my kitchen like a lunatic in order to get fit for the Race For Life run, that is taking place in London on 1 June 2008. Wish me luck everyone.
First week - Hmmm, well, let me assure you, it is hell. The muscles that you thought had disappeared and left behind only those fatty deposits on your legs, ........well, they are still there!!!!! And they are crying out in pain!!!!! What on earth have I done, I ask myself, well I shall tell you, I jogged and walked for only 35 mins, and that is with the warm ups and the warm downs, (Which let me tell you is a MUST do, I will explain later on!) My Sister is just jogging along nicely and she says that I should tell her when I need to rest. Well its freezing cold, I feel like a blimp in my trackie bottoms and my shrunken hoody, and I just wanted to say 'Now! I have had enough now' But no, I carry on, walking at first as my sister suggests, 'Get the old heart pumping slowly at first then build up to it' she says knowingly. I start into the jog, oh my word, after only 30 seconds (it seems so much longer) I want to stop, Can I really be this unfit. It seems so. After years of neglect and self abuse, i.e. beer, ciggies and pie and mash! I really am completely out of shape! But I struggled on, telling sister after every 30 seconds I need to walk (or crawl) now, but we managed the route through the nature park. I manged it through the nature park. Don't know how far we jogged for, more than likely only half a kilometre! I got back to the car, ready to drive home and have a well earned cuppa, that is until sister says, 'Come on we need to stretch those muscles out first!
The next day my sister and I decided to do the bike run thing. Oh boy, I'm looking forward to this, surely it must be so much easier than the jogging thing, After all, its transport, right?! People, let me tell you, if you have a bike with the comfort fit saddle........they lie.!!! Its is not a comfort fit saddle, an armchair would be a saddle! But there you, go we rode our bikes...........fortwo hours we rode our bikes. We carried our bikes over THREE FOOTBRIDGES that went over the rail lines. We went thought beautiful woods, passed ploughed fields and saw sheep. My sister stopped and took photos of the grazing, bored looking sheep. 'All this time of living in Bromley' she says 'I can't believe that this is on my doorstep' she continued, with not even a drop of sweat from her brow. As you can probably guess, by sister is fitter than me, she is skinnier than me and she is more active than me (Three badminton clubs a week!!) she is also 'helping' me to get in shape! But right now, I'm not quite sure of what shape that is. I, on the other hand, was struggling to keep up right on my bike, and to try and look at least slightly interested in the smelly, bored sheep. I never quite realised until that point, that I had developed a slight rivalry between me and my sister.
So there we were, half way around our route, although at the time I did not realise that it would be a two hour long jaunt off the beaten track and into the 'countryside' when we realised that we still had to go back the same way! Which means carrying those darn bikes over those three humongous bridges!, or find an alternative route home.
We stopped some very friendly dog walkers who gave us directions, who in turned stopped other dog walkers, who gave us different directions and while the dogs were 'all getting to know each other' in their own doggy way, there were quite a few people directing us this way and that way, some suggested going up hill, (shudder) some suggested down hill (oh please, lets go that way). We also acquired a route map from one of these friendly dog walkers and finally went on our way, UP HILL! 'Because' as darling sister said 'Its only up this bit and then its all down hill after that' Oh how I hate................going up hill.
There we were at the top of the last hill, where after that, 'its all down hill,' she says and she flies off down the path at what seemed to me like break neck speed! Oh my word, oh my word, oh my word, I am going down this path with tree roots all over it, and all I can see is what I can only describe as natures steps, so technically we shouldn't be free wheeling down there at all! We should be walking, with our bikes by our sides down the steps! I have the breaks firmly applied, squeaking my way down the hill, when all of a sudden I squeeze the breaks hard, to come to an emergency halt. There, in front of me, is a huge 'step' and there is no way I was going down there, not with my bottom on the saddle of hell and the way it feels is now bruised and sore, (did I mention that they lied about the comfort seat) I let out a scream and dear lovely sis turns to to watch me slowly fall sideways into the prickles. Does she come running to my aid? Oh no, she just laughs out loud that she is about to 'pee her pants!
Well as you can see, we managed to get home after what seemed to me like forever and I even manged to pick the child up from his nursery school on time, albeit, with a pained look on my face.
For the next day, I couldn't do any exercise. My excuse? I was waiting for a man to tell me about cavity wall filling! Honest! He was late, I didn't do any dancing about in the kitchen to my songs on the ipod. Well, I just could face the man with a puffy red glowing sweaty face now, could I.
The following day, I just went for a jog by myself! 'Its a mile from here to Princess Plain and back' says hubby, supportingly (is there such a word?). 'Try that, you should do that in 10 mins!' Ten minutes! I don't think so. I thought with my new found fitness level, I could probably do a reasonable time. I did all the warm up exercises that everyone always tells you to do, (I haven't forgotten that I need to tell you about those warm up exercises) and I plodded off on my one mile jog. Oh my word, Only to the end of the road (again about 30 seconds into the jog) and the breath in my body has escaped, yet again! But here I am, by myself, no one to push me along except me! 'Come on, old girl, just to the lamppost and then walk' So that is how jog that mile. I jog to the lamppost and walk to the next, but all the while, urging myself to jog on to the next one first, which occasionally I did. Impressed? Well I was was. 'Come on, the next lamppost then walk, mind the dog sh..... doings!' Ignore the golfers, they are not looking at you, then you can walk to the next one' and so on.
All the way there and back again, 17:28:95 seconds! Oh yes, this girls is looking good. 'Well that's not bad, 'But I could walk that in 20 mins' says ALL who I brag to. Shall I give up now? Oh my word. Darn it, NO!, I am going to be wearing a picture of my mum on my tee shirt as I jog 5k in London.
The next day was a Saturday. A day where I like to rest in bed, have tea bought up to me, kick the old man out of my king sized bed so that I can stretch and lay all over my it. But oh no. Do you know, people, that when I set this goal for myself, I developed this little voice in my head, TELLING me to get out of bed and do the mile jog!!! Where on earth did that come from? Who is talking to me, did hubby put a subliminal ipod recording in my ears to make me get out of bed? No, it was my conscious, it was me telling me to get out of bed.
So I get up, run down the stairs, and young son is in the kitchen just about to cook himself some bacon. Hmmm, bacon. drool drool........ Oops sorry, had a Homer moment there, just let me wipe up the drool from the key board ahfafhahka;'gh[agihgfgjghhfhjhgghf There.
'Do you want to come for a run' I says to young son, 'keep your old mum company' 'Er yeah go on then, it'll be a laugh' he says, putting on his trainers. So before he change his mind I do a quick 30 second stretch of the muscles and out for a jog with young son.
Everything is the same as the last jog, can't make it to the end of the road, forcing myself to each lamppost and beyond, avoid the dogs doings, (why can't they just make their dogs go on the grass verge at least) and young son saying, 'Cor is that it, when I'm at school they make us run around the entire school, three times, while pulling the headmaster and his friends in a caravan while they have tea!' Oh yes, I could have throttled him, but it was good that he wanted to go out and possible be seen with his mum while jogging. He wants to make it every week. What a little trooper. By the time I get back, same as usual, face a bright bright crimson red throbbing thing on top of my shoulders, with sweat pouring out of every pore, I collapse on the sofa and demand tea! 'Let me just rest awhile dear, before we go for a walk by the seaside' And here is the bit that I have been telling you about. After my tea I tried to walk, OH MY WORD! Where did that pain come from, its killing me? Oh the pain, my legs feel like huge tree trunks and they hurt, every time I move. 'You didn't warm up properly' says young son! 'I know that NOW', I said, through gritted teeth.
It is so important to do those warm up exercises even if it means not dragging young son out to jog with you! (At least you might still love them when you get back from your jog alone) Now hubby wants to go for his walk, by the seaside. Oh please tell me that there is some sort of curfew going on, and that we are not allowed to leave our house for the next two years. 'Ok!' I shout to hubby, 'I shall just have a quick shower and be right with you.' I climb the stairs to my bathroom. Oh how those stairs taunted me, 'Do you remember the stairs over the rail lines' I felt my stairs were saying to me 'well you'll wish you were there right now if you know what I have in store for you' I felt they were saying to me. They kept on taunting. Each step felt like a mountain, I raised my foot to climb the next step and for some reason it had grown to three feet high. 'Won't be long' I shouted to hubby as I looked up at rest of my stairs, visibly growing towards the ceiling!
Eventually all cleaned and feeling almost human again, desperately trying to ignore my aching limbs we were on our way to the sea side for a 'lovely' walk by the sea. We got there, I can't even remember where we first got out of the car, but my legs, I'm sure were left in the shower back home, and I have those tree trunks causing me pain again, hanging from my hips. 'Only a short walk here, just to stretch our legs then we're off to Samphire hoe' I can't remember if I let out a whimper or not, but hubby said, 'ahhh you'll be alright'
The next few hours went by in a blur, with me just trying to concentrate on not walking like the guy who had the 'Edgar suit on' in the Men in Black film. I talk to sister on the phone, and she tells me that she cycled her way to her badminton group (oh I hope she didn't hear me grind my teeth) I congratulate her, and tell her well done, good for you. And then she tells me, 'My bottoms is so sore, it really is aching!' Mustn't laugh at her, (he he he he he) must stop tittering (he he he) 'I think we shall give the bikes a rest for a week, just to let the aching go away' she says.
So here we are virtually up to date, did jog again yesterday and the day before that, oh by the way, the jog with young son, I again sliced off a few precious seconds! Does the jogging ever get any easier! Someone tell me, will I always feel out of breath when I reach the end of the road here? I need to know. Each time I do the jog, its just a couple of seconds faster, but at least its going in the right direction.
Today which is Tuesday 11th March Sister is joining me today in the mile jog. Do we do the warm ups, oh yes, warm up for ages, I don't think I ever want to feel like Saturday again. Warm ups and more warm ups, and then warm downs when we get back. So I explain to sister how I do my mile jog. To the lamppost and then walk, and then jog and maybe even jog to the next, I explained to her. Sister is impressed with that idea, secretly I know she can't jog the whole 1 mile. But here we are, jogging and again sister with the nagging, 'come on' get those hands up, you can jog to the next lampost' How I hate.......those lampposts. But again, I survived, and shaved another couple of seconds of my time 'Is that all,' sister says 'Is that all, I should have pushed you harder' Oh how I want to push her right now. So she is off now to her other badminton class, while I'm here, sweating and throbbing like a big bowl of jelly, thinking about the pie and mash that she will bring home later. Hmmmmmmm another Hommer moment.