There is always a reason not to exercise. It’s hot. I’m tired. I should be working, gardening, playing with the dog, painting my toenails. You can always find something else to do but sometimes you just have to put your head down and do it.
As you know my stationary bike was previously only used to hang my towel on for when I exit the Jacuzzi but after dusting it off I am now trying to make friends with it (I really need to come up with a good name for it too. I can’t keep calling it ‘hell’ as that’s not very positive). As I am unable to run (another 2 weeks to go!), I need to cycle for half an hour a day as a start to what I foresee will be an awful programme ahead (yes, yes, again I need to be more positive). However, the reality is that by mid-December this blog will probably include much swearing (sorry Mom) and moaning so enjoy this (sort-of) happy phase where all I have to conquer is pedalling on my rusty bike and eating steamed vegetables.
What is really worrying me about running the Paris marathon is obviously how unfit I am. But it’s not just that I am unfit now but rather that I am not a runner. That for over 20 years I’ve done nada! People keep saying “oh you’ll be fine, you have more than enough time if you start in December” but that would apply to someone who has a history of running, who has done the mileage on their legs, who knows what it is like and who doesn’t sound like they smoke 50 a day as I do (sound like it, not smoke it).
You see, I am competitive and I don’t want to just finish it. I want to finish it well. What does this mean? Basically, that I don’t want to be last. I preach about just being in it makes you a winner but I need to do better than that. I want to feel that runner’s high (there is such a thing, right?) and have a few moments, even if it is only 15 minutes, of clapping for the people who are behind me. I don’t want the entire marathon of 57,000 people plus spectators clap for me as I come in last. There I said it. I feel bad saying it because you really should practice what you preach but in this case, I just can’t. And I can’t be last!
So with this in mind I managed to get on my bike this morning and pedal away with my dogs lying lazily next to me. However, as time wore on and the hills seem to bite, they scarpered as their Mom moaned and groaned and basically became unrecognisable – clearly as they have never seen me exercise in the nearly 4 years they have lived with me. As I finally (30 minutes really is like 3.5 hours, I think) tumbled off the (uncomfortable!) seat, they rushed forward to lick my wounds. I know they were saying they love me no matter what, that just entering and pitching up will suffice, that I don’t need to prove anything to anyone, and that I just need to make it within the cut off time. But they’re wrong, oh so wrong.