The RunWay: The One Where I Actually Run

The RunWay: The One Where I Actually Run


by Emily Phillips |
Published on

The time has come. I can't deny it any more. It's 'new year, new me' season, and I've vowed to get my sorry ass running in 2015, by hook or by crook. The Run Way is my journey, and it starts right here.

I promised I would, and this week, I actually did a run. Yes, I know this is a running blog, and you're bored of my lollygagging now. But for me, just doing one run was one of my biggest achievements. And I was once in the background of a Spice Girls video, so that's really saying something.

My long-lived fear - and subsequent denial - of running has been going on all my life. During school, I would come up with all sorts of coniving ploys to get out of PE when long-distance was on the cards. This time last year, when I vowed to get fit for my wedding, I tried again. I made it a five minute jog up the road before collapsing in a crying heap. I didn't have the guts to try again. UNTIL NOW.

Because of this phobia, it took me a whole 13 days of the new year to summon the courage to get out there, in the dark, in my snazzy new gear, and actually do it. It was cold, I was still coughing, my knee was giving me gip, I had other things to do - excuses excuses. I had to face facts - I will never feel in tip top condition until I start actually doing the exercise. So a dank Tuesday night in January was as good a time to start as any.

To start me off, my husband - a kindly soul who had already done his own run that morning - came along as a kind of pace-setter-come-cheerleader to lead me round our Enfield route. He kept me occupied with stories, and every so often told me how well I was doing, even if I was as slow as a tortoise. I didn't stop once, and only broke for a couple of brief speed walking bursts to clear my inevitable stitch and we made it round the 1.76 mile loop. I was elated, because to me, that was a marathon. And it showed I could do something which I had always ruled out.

The biggest change? I actually took my asthma inhaler with me, clutching it like the Olympic torch and taking a couple of puffs along the way. As a childhood asthma sufferer, I had always thought I had outgrown it, and that my breathlessness during exercise was just my lack of fitness. But actually, in admitting to myself that my shortness of breath was in turn limiting my fitness, I actually gave myself enough puff to get that first run done.

I now understand that feeling everyone described after doing some proper physical activity - it's as if I had literally never done a workout before. It made such a nice change to feel proud of myself for once, and not just guilty for what I hadn't done. The next day, instead of feeling stiff, I felt rejuvinated (the day after, I was walking like a robot - but I just need another run tonight to loosen up). Next stop is making it a regular occurence (and obviously building up my speed, time and distance). Looks like it's time to clearing that diary and working out whether my run style is more night owl or early bird. And that's a big conundrum...

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us