I must have temporarily lost the plot, because I appear to have signed up for a marathon…

Archive for June, 2011

Jog on bullies, you’re ruining my ‘me’ time

Since getting back into running I have been for a few jogs on the road, but most of them have been in the gym on the treadmill. I’ve been pretty happy with this because:
1. I can monitor my progress in the gym
2. If someone is on the treadmill next to me I find myself pushing to go further
3. Jogging on the road comes with baggage

Let me explain point 3…
Over the weekend, I decided it would be nice not to exercise on my own. After an hour warmup on the Nintendo Wii (and finally completing a few of the balancing games which I’m normally rubbish at *hooray*), I left the flat with my sister to go on a lovely jog/power walk to have a catch up and a natter. With rain almost upon us and the sun at bay, it was perfect weather. We decided to go the ‘scenic’ route down the nearby canal.

Although it is often on the main roads where you get the occasional distracting wolf whistle or cry of “hello ladies” from construction workers (terribly sorry for the stereotype but that’s just from my experience!) it was this pretty ordinary day on the canal that we got an unfortunate reminder of what people think of us. With hurls of abuse such as “you gingers should die” and “go home you evil ginger mingers” I was almost put off from carrying on. The lads, who were fishing on the other side of the canal, then started to throw bait in our direction.

Unfortunately, this isn’t really new to my sister and me.

Being a redhead comes with its downfalls, and for me, sensitivity to heat/sunshine is a major one – and if you read my blog regularly/follow me on Twitter, you’re probably sick of hearing about it! Sorry!

But one trait that is pretty consistent, particularly in the UK, is bullying. I got this a lot at school, as do most kids, when you’re young. My sister had her hair set on fire on public transport when she was young. I’ve had rubbish thrown at me in the street, all up until I was at university. I feel it has made me a stronger person, and I try not to dwell on it too much these days. I’m not fishing for sympathy.

However, when I’m just out with my sister at the weekend, trying to get some exercise, I really don’t expect to be harassed. Especially when I’m trying to better myself. Why would they put someone down like that?

I’ve seen people who have been yelled at when they are running, for no particular reason. I, not so long ago, saw some chavs shouting “fatty” at a jogger. She wasn’t massive and luckily had her headphones in so was nonethewiser. I feel bad for those who maybe don’t have the luxury of a gym membership, and really want to make an effort to get some fitness into their lives, because I know there will always be nincompoops (crikey I love that word) around to put you down.

If you shout things at people running on the street, unless it is cheering someone on as part of an arranged fun run, then you should be ashamed of yourself. This is a polite request to be nice in the future.

If anyone needs me, I’ll be back in the gym listening to Tim Minchin…..


Running in the buff – barefoot I mean

Perhaps I’m alone on this one, and I certainly welcome your opinion dear reader, but how did running with ‘naked feet’ become an acceptable method of exercise?

As a woman in her 20’s, I feel like the only time I ever walk – let alone run – barefoot is after a long night out dancing in monstrously high heels (we’ve all been there ladies). Even in my own home, I wear slippers, socks or flip flops at all times (then again, I’ve always been a bit funny about feet, but that’s another story…).

I feel very privileged that I live in a decent area. But it’s certainly far from winning the “Cleanest streets in Britain award” anytime soon and I’d be genuinely interested to know if anyone actually feels like their local running route is safe enough, and clean enough to tackle without the safety barrier of trainers.

Living approximately 30 metres from a pub, 10 metres from a canal, and about half a mile from the Metrolink, the road I live on constantly has certain ‘presents’ available on the floor on a daily basis – ranging from broken glass, to vomit to swan poo. (I’m truly painting a picturesque image aren’t I? Hence, moving house soon.)

Adding to this, I’m pretty sure that if I turned up at my gym without any form of footwear, climbing onto the treadmill, I would be asked to turn around and “put some bloody shoes on fool” …or something to that effect. My gym isn’t owned by Mr.T or anything, just for the record.

But I digress. I’m sure that no-one is attempting this unless you are truly fortunate enough to have clean pavements to run on or a treadmill in your house, or you’re just mental. So why is running barefooted becoming popular all of a sudden? I feel as if I have read more than I should have on the topic lately, all starting with Scarlett Johanssen.

She was spotted running not so long ago in Vibram Five Fingers Bilika shoesor whatever the flip they’re called! And quite frankly, I think they look odd. Normally a massive fan of the weird and wonderful, I’m struggling to see myself with these in the near future (especially since I can still buy kids’ sized shoes – can anyone say bargain? Ker-ching!).

I think what bothers me about these shoes and the barefoot ‘phenomenon’ is that these products are promoting a “healthier” form of running. Well then, what was un-healthy about running in plain old trainers?

I have done a bit of reading on the topic out of sheer curiosity and I do genuinely find it fascinating that so many are involved.

(Some reads I found worthwhile:
Baring It All: The Barefoot Running Trend
The Barefoot Running Debate at Runner’s World
To Run Better, Start by Ditching Your Nikes )

In fact, I feel ignorant that I had not heard about it earlier. Perhaps when I’m on holiday next month, I’ll give jogging down the beach a try and hope that crabs don’t eat my feet. But until I live on this said beach, I think for now I’m quite content with my size 5 diddy plain old trainers, trying to make it a little further on the treadmill than last time. Oh well. Each to their own!

Courtesy of Flickr User: Rampant Gian

The gym shower dilemma

It is no secret that I haven’t been at the gym as much as I’d like lately, and I certainly have been pretty terrible at keeping up with this blog.
However, I am hoping that this will turn around in the near future.

Although I have been going to the gym – albeit not as much as I really should – I have aslo been tying up all the loose ends with regards to me and the fella buying our first house. *Insert girly sqeual here*
Now all we can do is wait for the solicitors to get their finger out, and give us a move-in date. Huzzah! Resulting in less time faffing around with paperwork and more time at the gym (in theory…).

When the move is finally arranged, we will be moving into a house that is…how do I put this, falling down in need of modernisation.

The truth is, there is currently a bathtub, from 1948. A little bit manky but hopefully livable after a few scrubs…..but there is no shower. Most people would not have a problem with this. However, referring back to one of my previous posts, I am allergic to hot water, meaning I cannot have baths (too hot), only showers (luke warm. That’s right, just call me Goldilocks) – And if you are thinking to yourself, “Just have a cold-ish bath you wimp”, I dare you to try it. It ain’t bloody easy!

So, since I am paying for a gym membership I can’t get out of (and don’t want to either really), I’m thinking I will need to go to the gym to shower until we can afford to remodel and redecorate the bathroom (which, in fairness, is low down on the list behind buying central heating and a kitchen…Yeah, “modernising” is gonna be fun)  I’m hoping this will really push me to really get my exercise minutes clocked up.

Only one further dilemma here, there are lots of naked old chicks there. If you’ve seen the Michael McIntyre sketch about public changing rooms, you’ll know what I’m talking about. I’ll keep you all posted….