Thursday, August 14, 2008

Running through my mind

If I was paid to write a column, which is my Number One Dream Job ever ever ever in the whole world, surpassing being paid to shop, being paid to eat Thai food or even being paid to sunbathe (okay, maybe not. But it’s my number one dream job out of all the things that are actually jobs. Although I suppose someone somewhere is paid to do those things? Mystery shoppers – paid to shop. Those people in palaces that check the food before it’s served to royalty – paid to eat. Paris Hilton – paid to sunbathe. But I digress. I think I’ll close this bracket and get on with my original point.)

Then… (if you are still with me) Then I would have been fired.

When I was given this blog, I saw it as an excellent training ground for my eventual landing of said dream job. All I have to do is find something to talk about once a week, at the least, and post it up here for all to comment on.

But of late I’ve been slack, so slack I don’t deserve a column, the only thing I really want. But fret not, my loyal army of readers (my sister has subscribed and I know my mum reads it) for I am back with a vengeance. I am here today to talk about running.

Never been much of a fan. Think it’s stupid, actually. But then Apples, my new friend at work, not christened by that Coldplay knobber, but actually called Nicola Appleton, I call her Apples to differentiate her from the other Nicola in my life and also because I like Apples and I like Apples… Er…I’ve done it again. My digressions go on for so long I have to put a full stop and start the old sentence again.

But then Apples, my new friend at work, asked me if I wanted to go for a run with her.

Hell yeah! Bonding with new friend, sweating, new type of exercise.

Before I knew it, I’d paid £30 to sign up to the Bristol half marathon and was ‘in training’ three times a week. My five year old Nikes were beginning to look a little sorry for themselves so Hannah and I took a little diversion on our way to Wagamamas, finding ourselves in the most exciting experience of buying shoes either of us have ever had. And one of us was Hannah Doyle, the Sun Newspaper Shoe Horder of the Year.

Moti Running Shop (Whiteladies Road, Bristol, for those who want to experience this pleasure) lured us in with the scent of rubber soles, trendy running clothes and novel ‘you need this’ running equipment. £10 for a water bottle with a clever space for your key? Sold! £15 for (one pair of) socks with Achilles Heel protectors and extra padding for where your shoelaces apparently constantly rub? Sold!

But what really impressed us, more than the key holding water bottle and mini sachets of glucose for when you ‘hit the wall’ (running term, yar, running banter) was the fact they had a treadmill and each assistant was trained in telling you exactly what was right or wrong with your step and therefore what kind of insole you required.

So I hopped on the treadmill and did a little run, which the lady filmed.

Hannah had the very important role of protecting the screen from the early evening sunshine. Couldn’t have done it without her.

Then we watched the film of my run.

Do I step off to the left? Lean on the right? Land weird? No I bloody do not. According to the assistant, who Hannah was convinced was a lesbian, I had a perfect step. No insoles required.

Geed on by her compliments, it was at this stage that I splashed out on the water bottle, socks and sugar. I couldn’t help myself, my perfect step made me do it. Hannah and I both had our feet measured and Hannah had perfect size three feet. Not many people have identically sized feet, but Hannah did, because she is also perfect, we were told.

When I mentioned that my boyfriend was a bit cynical about the treadmill and the ‘diagnostic imaging’ of my step, the woman shot me a look of disgust, and it was at this stage that Hannah’s wonderment at her sexuality was secured. I’m sure she’s just protective of a job she loves and belivees in, I tell Hannah outside. No, she’s a lezzer, Hannah retorts.

High from the adrenalin of buying new shoes, we headed to Wags too giddy to even need a drink. I think we might have had carrot juice or something equally wholesome.

Four weeks later, and my back has packed in. I’ve given up running. Always thought it was rubbish anyway, just needed to spend £100 on shoes and gizmos to affirm this. Now I’m a swimmer. Bought a new swimming costume and goggles to reiterate to myself that I am now a swimmer.

Never did like swimming. Don’t like smelling of chlorine. I like coconuts. Coconuts and apples.


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