Good evening, Gentle Readers.
I will explain my absence at some point, but for now, I would like to simply enlighten you on today’s adventure.
My story begins on a rainy Bank Holiday Monday (are there any other kind? I’m really not sure.) when I, after two weeks of running in sagging old trainers, woke up with the plan to go and buy some proper running shoes. You see, I have decided to do the Cancer Research UK Race for Life, but not just the 5k walky-joggy-run. THE PRETTY MUDDY 5K.
Yes, I am totally insane. What’s worse, is I’ve made Ma (55), Little Octopus (30, nursing an old injury) and Tiny Perfect Friend (24, but doing the 10k run the next day as well) sign up for it with me. So my wonderful gang (the Honeybadgers…you can sponsor us here) are all preparing to get thoroughly muddy and miserable racing for life.
Now, there’s no way I can do this without some preparation, so firstly, I’m back off to yoga on Wednesday, and secondly, and more importantly, I’m doing the Couch to 5k NHS Choices podcast app, which promises to take me from “couch potato” to “running 5k or thirty minutes” in nine weeks.
The woman who does the podcast is incredibly annoying, but my loathing of her fires me up, because it turns out silently cursing the cheery voice as you run and sweat (and weep) at 6am really, really, really works as a motivational tool. Anyway, running, me, yes, it happens, but I’ve been wearing some old trainers, and it is miserable to run in old trainers. They’re not squishy, they’re not supportive, and limping my way to the end of my twenty minute run is dreadfully depressing. AND then my feet hurt for the rest of the day.
SO. I decided to part with some of my hard earned cash, and purchase myself a pair of proper running shoes.
This meant: 1. having to actually go into a sports shop. 2. having to actually admit I wanted to buy trainers. 3. having potentially to do some actual exercise in the shop and 4. having to make a decision about sporting equipment.
None of these things appealed.
And this morning, I woke up with a massive case of “Cowardly-Custard-Osis”, which is when you want to chicken out of doing something. Luckily, Little Octopus was on hand to send me a stern message, telling me (kindly) to get my head out of my arse, and my arse into the shop.
And so, Gentle Readers, I did. And yes, it was as bad as I feared. The man simultaneously buying shoes with me started on the treadmill (you have to run for a couple of minutes, whilst they video your feet to see if your feet pronate, or you run like a waddling duck) was told to reach a comfortable pace. His comfortable pace was mental – he basically sprinted on that treadmill like Usain Bolt being chased by rabid dogs. Even the girl serving me laughed incredulously when he said he was comfortable running at 9000 miles an hour. Made my lameass jog five minutes later look thoroughly pathetic. Anyway, the nice girl looked at my walk and my waddle-jog, and did some clicky magic on the computer, and disappeared into the back and….came out with some nice brightly coloured shoes.
I have to admit, the brightly coloured shoes did make the horror of buying sporting equipment a bit less traumatic. At least they’re in my usual theme of neon-bright colours and flashy bits.
Anyway, to cut a very long shopping trip short, basically, I tried on some shoes, and then settled on….yes, you guessed it, the most expensive pair in the shop. Woohoo! Actually, in terms of money, they weren’t the most expensive pair. But there was a cost, dear readers, a cost that I paid and from which I will never recover.
The running around the shop testing out the shoes? Made me sweat. A LOT. Also embarrassment at running in front of people made me sweat a lot.
And when the nice girl, ever so sweet and encouraging, bent down to test where my toes were in the shoes….a big, fat drop of sweat rolled down my forehead, parted company from my skin and plopped straight onto her head.
Oh, the shame. OH THE HORROR….
I sweated on the nice shop girl. Obviously now, I can never go back, and I shall have to travel to Outer Mongolia to buy my next pair of shoes.
The £115 price tag was nothing in comparison to the hot flush of mortification racing up my skin as my sweat
droplet – droplet is too dainty a word – cupful splashed onto the nice girl helping me.
I paid, readers, and I left that shop sharpish, my shame wafting behind me like the sweat droplets I left all over the floor.
But I have new trainers now!