take one woman with low self esteem, but quite good hair
add one moronic illness
stir in some medication which causes hair to fall out
mix it all up and this is what you get...

Monday, November 28, 2005

For symptomatic relief of Running Anxiety... 

... we recommend the following.

As long term readers of [old blog] are probably aware, I struggle with my running, both physically - not being in possession of the necessary wiry build - and psychologically - because, like most things I attempt in life, I've only ever achieved mediocrity compared to others. This was fine in my early running days, because I ran alone and thus did not have "others" around. What I achieved through running was a marked increase in fitness and a boost to my confidence by taking control of my body and whipping it into some semblance of shape, where "shape" = less round than before, though still, alas, rather more round than I'd like. The motivation to carry on is mainly provided by the constant fear of returning to my even-more-rubenesque silhouette if I were to stop. God help me if I injure myself to the extent that I *can't* run any more...

About a year ago, I joined a running club, where I was surrounded by "others". On the plus side, some of these "others" were in the same position as me - they could run a few miles but wanted to increase their mileage and set themselves a challenge. In 3 months, we went from being able to run just under 4 miles to being able to run just over 13 miles - that's a half marathon to those not versed in such things. I doubt that I would have achieved this on my own.

On the negative side, however, there were those summer evenings when there weren't enough runners to split into speed-graded groups, meaning that the faster runners would, literally, run rings around the slower ones (which, of course, included me). Being a sensitive (some might say over-sensitive) soul, I would arrive home in tears and reflect upon my many and varied shortcomings with the long-suffering Big. These not being solely in the running arena...

The club has started again now in earnest, in preparation for a local Half Marathon in April. I was in two minds about whether to go along or not, given my bittersweet experiences over the summer. My running pal was intending to go, but in a slightly different capacity: as a "running counsellor". These are the people who keep the group together, both physically and psychologically: encouraging those who are struggling, sharing the highs and lows of running and ensuring that the group stay together throughout the run. I've long considered doing this, but had always dismissed it due to my usual lack of self-belief. However, armed with the knowledge that my running pal *was* doing it, I took the plunge and we have been "counselling" the beginners' group for the past couple of weeks.

All of this has brought a little smile to my face.
Just a little one, mind, you wouldn't want me to get over excited!

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