Thursday, October 19, 2006

Run and become

I met a friend of ours father last night, who is in his mid 60's and looks at least 15 years younger. His secret? Probably good genes, but the guy has also been a fanatical runner for over 30 years. He runs at least three times a week, and makes a point of researching where he can run ahead of traveling to a new place even on holiday. He told us that at a recent health check his arteries were completely clear, his resting heart rate was 40, and he had enlarged lungs (but in a good way). It goes without saying he's pretty trim and lean-looking. And this guy is in his 60's. Incredible!

This is Robert's reason for getting into the running and fitness thing too - he worries about getting older, and firmly believes that exercise can have many positive effects to combat age-related illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, as well as heightened cholesterol. And then there's the whole looking younger thing too I'm sure.

I exercised so much and so hard in the run-up to our wedding that I effectively overdosed on it and aside from tennis and hiking on our honeymoon, haven't been back in the gym since. And the fact of the matter is, some of the weight has crept back - especially around my middle. I really don't want to get back into that obsessive frame of mind I was in before, where I was weighing myself every morning, and trying on size 8 trousers in shops as a way of measuring my weightloss. But I would like to be able to stay firm and certainly healthy. And most of all, be in a position where I can eat normally, knowing that that bit of exercise I do each week evens things out.

Robert has signed both of us up for a 10k at the end of this month, and I'm terrified. The furtherest I've run was 5k and we did that in just over 30 minutes (without stopping). But that was also in the middle of my rigorous fitness regime with our trainer Guy, and I felt like I was going to die at the end of it.

Our friends dad says the trick with running is not to see it as a race, nor to push yourself to much too early. In fact, his attitude is to run for fun - and to let that guide you in terms of when you do it, how far you go, and at what rate. This is perhaps not the best attitude for someone as lazy as me, because the whole 'when you do it' would result in never, unless it's for a buss, or towards a designer shoe sale.

I've decided that if I am going to do this 10k, and not chicken out of it, I need to get my shit together and start training. And unfortunately it's not raining outside... .

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