Hello faithful readers! I know that it has been a while, but I am now back in freezing Cape Town ready for a new term and a whole load of new posts. To mark the start of the second half of 2012, I decided to compile some mid-year resolutions since I never got round to making any in January! Seeing as I am a walking cliché when it comes to many things girly, you will be unsurprised to hear that at the top of my list is “get fit and lose some weight”. This highly unoriginal goal is made even more necessary due to the fact that my cousin is getting married in September, meaning that I have exactly 2 months to find a dress and look fabulous in it!
Now although I am devoted to my bi-weekly yoga classes, and I often dabble in a bit of weight training, the one thing that I am absolutely useless at is running. I think this is largely due to the fact that I absolutely loathe the activity and try to avoid it at any and all costs. But in the spirit of upholding resolution number 1, I decided to try and face this demon head-on and this afternoon I decided to go for my first run in ... well in a while!
The first bit of torture involved me having to strip off the numerous layers that coated my body and hop around my bedroom like a rabbit with frost-bite, whilst trying to find some appropriate running attire. Once dressed and relatively enthused, I stepped out of my front door and was greeted with air so cold that I could feel my saliva freezing in my now agape mouth. It took nearly all of my will-power not to turn around back then and there and flee into the warmth of my flat in surrender, but there was no way that I was giving up on my first attempt.
The run started off okay, but within the first 5 minutes I could feel my chest closing up and my limbs turning to jelly. “How is this possible?!”, I thought to myself in between pants. “Why has my body turned into a useless lump that is finding it so difficult to run a few meters?!” All I could hear was the thud of my heart and this little voice in my head telling me that there’s no way that I can do this, I may as well give up now. But after a minor pit-stop (to take in the view, of course), I continued on my tortuous journey and my hatred for running slowly began to lessen to immense dislike. That is, until I passed a herd of braces-clad school girls who giggled loudly and made mocking impersonations of me as I passed. I know that I must have looked pretty ridiculous (nobody looks great when they run), but they could have at least saved their ridicule for once I couldn’t see or hear their jeers!
Although this humiliation prompted me to stop and go home, I decided that I couldn’t let a group of pre-pubescents win and I kept on going, comforted by the thought of what will happen when my tormenters discover what happens to your metabolism when you hit your twenties. By this stage I had completed 15 gruelling minutes of running (not to count the minutes of walking in between), and I only had another 10 to go. Apart from a few minor heart-attacks on the up hills - and me wondering why I felt it necessary to live in a suburb that is largely situated on a steep slope - I was doing okay and learning to ignore the expletives that were popping into my head with each passing step.
With only 5 minutes left, my muscles had progressed to a soft and mushy state similar to that of baby food, and I was beginning to develop a strange tingly feeling across my right buttock (is that normal?). And then I rounded a corner and came face-to-face with an extremely big and largely populated construction site. Now men, please take note that the last thing a tired, sweaty, red-faced, tingly-assed female wants to hear on the last stretch of a run is a cat-call. Or a wolf-whistle. In fact, any kind of comment yelled out by a man in a luminous orange vest is not going to be appreciated. Owing to the fact that this was the largest construction site in the history of man-kind, I had to endure all of these things as I forced myself to keep on going past my admirers and as far away as possible.
By the time I got home, I had successfully run for 25 out of 35 minutes, and felt pretty proud of myself for getting to the other side of my ordeal in one piece. Despite the heart palpitations, the self-ridicule, the teenage-mocking, and the cat-calls, my run was semi-tolerable and I am definitely going to give it another go. Go me! Let’s just see how my legs feel in the morning...