Running for the loo…

I’ve been running regularly for eighteen months, and it still surprises me. Before this stint, I was mainly sedentary with the odd gym-binge. Usually during a rare active phase, I managed 6 months at the treadmill before tailing off. Even when I got married I managed only 3 months of concentrated exercise.

I’d read a lot about keeping fit, but sadly that doesn’t actually make you fitter. The driving force behind many of the articles was finding something you enjoy. Have I found that in running? Not really, no. I don’t hate it enough to stop pounding the pavements, but I don’t actively look forward to showcasing a camel toe in running tights.

The sports I genuinely enjoy are those with a racquet, but finding partners of a similar level is quite tricky. Then you have to book courts and hope you still feel like a game when the day comes ’round. Frankly, it is all too much of a faff.

Running is a solo endeavour (unless of course you decide to join a group) so you’ve already made life easier. Exercise evangelists will tell you the appeal of running is that ‘you just pull your trainers on and go’ – those people don’t have my nervous bladder. My routine is: put on kit; remember keys are upstairs; retrieve keys; have wee; remember trainers are upstairs; retrieve trainers; have wee; tie hair back; hunt for Kirby grips for fringe; have another tiny wee; find Kirby grips; refill water bottle; look for iPhone armband; put on trainers; make it to the door; turn back to have another check I don’t need a wee; LEAVE (still trying to ascertain whether you actually need to go back and have a wee).

I don’t have a rare bladder complaint, just a fear of doing either a half or full Radcliffe, which makes me feel compelled to keep checking I have a bladder drier than the Sahara before leaving the house. When people talk about Wii Fit, I immediately assume they’re making a comment on my ‘tinkle before trek’ ordering system.

My jogs are always focused on the finish. That’s what I like best about running – the bit where it all ends and I can have a hot shower safe in the knowledge that I don’t have to do it again for a day or two. Yes, I get a lot of thinking done (I run in silence) and I know I am doing a ‘good thing’ for my health but it is ALL about getting to the end.

And having a celebratory wee.

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