Let me make this absolutely clear: Talking about running sucks! If you are not talking one-on-one with like-minded marathon freaks, do not talk about it in public. It is extremely boring and makes lazy arse people like me feel left out of the conversation. Picture this (and this is just one example of many): You have just arrived at a much anticipated Christmas dinner party. You’re all dressed up. Even threw on a few hundred sequins to signal that you are one crrrrazy granny, ready to partaaay (OK, this image may work best for the female readers. But then again. If you’re a guy and you threw on a sequined garment, you are surely ready to partaaay as well. Would be my assumption). You sit down at the beautiful table, next to lovely people. Who, without a moment of hesitation, start a conversation about their marathon training. WHAT?!?! Really? The hosts have made a real effort to make this party a success. People have been looking forward to it for a year. Everyone is getting ready to attack a buffet of animal fat and aquavit. Who the hell is interested in hearing about your personal exercise regime at this exact moment? Most certainly not me!
I am not sure when this happened. When did people in Denmark become so obsessed with running? Why can’t they just go for a run and stop fussing?My dad used to run a lot when I was a kid but that was never a big deal. He didn’t need any special equipment. Two of my best girlfriends have been doing it for decades. And all I’ve ever heard about it, is the two of them making plans to go to an annual race and then their discussion afterwards regarding the quality of the sponsor gifts. That’s really all I need to know about. They have never bored me with lengthy details on special diets, injuries and the pros and cons of barefoot running. And for that I am thankful.
Which is why this blog post is so unreasonable. Because I am going to commit the sin. I am going to write about running. I am so, so sorry! I almost promise that this will be the only time. But this is force majeure. I, Christina Kjær Favrbo, have taken up running. I know what you are thinking now: “Oh, but of course, another thing you’ll do. For three weeks.” And you could be right. But I have a feeling that you’re not.
In November I posted on this blog about my inability to maintain a healthy balance between eating and exercising. No big deal. That’s just my life. But one of my most faithful readers could not ignore this blatant negligence of my health. So he has taken it upon himself to get me in shape, bless him. And I think this could be what makes the difference. Previously, when I have tried to get serious about exercising, my efforts have quickly dwindled. But those times I have not had the potential wrath and disdain of a badass Aussie hanging over my head. And even though he currently lives in New York and cannot inflict any bodily harm on me, I do not want to be at the receiving end of his wrath and disdain. No thanks. I’d rather go for a run if that’s all it takes to stay on his good side.
So since mid-December, I have started running three times a week. Is it premature to tell you about it already? Definitely. I will spare you the details of the training program. I am not that unreasonable. But let me just say that the very first run was amazing: I felt like Rocky (the 70s version).
I knew from the beginning that music would be crucial to this being a success for me. I find that the selection has to be very careful, as I tend to subconsciously align my pace to the song I am listening to. So taking the first slow steps with Rage Against the Machine’s “Bombtrack” as the soundtrack was good for a soft start. And after digging out a party playlist on my old iPod, I now finally have the chance to practice the rap in “No Diggity”. Will try to do it in my head only. Towards the end of a run the other day, I even found myself grateful to hear the otherwise despised words: “It’s Britney, bitch”. The beat in that song is not too fast. Suited me just fine. It might (or might not) have been towards the end of the same run that I suddenly realised that, for a few minutes, I had run behind a mother who was taking a leisurely stroll with a pram. Without gaining on her. Time to step it up.
Whenever I meet another female runner who looks a bit new, clueless and out of breath, I recognise myself and contemplate slapping her a high five as we pass each other. I mean, at least we’re out there, right? One small request to all you gentlemen runners, though: If you overtake a lady runner, would you consider holding your breath in for the nanosecond it takes you to pass? My heart almost stopped today, as I heard a very loud and heavy breath directly in my ear, which turned out to stem from a male runner rather than the crazy madman I had immediately pictured. I appreciate your consideration, thank you.
It is once again confirmed to me that I am a city girl at heart. Just running in the park in broad daylight is enough to freak me out if it isn’t very crowded. Is that guy with the greyhound in the quilted jacket (the dog, not the guy) really out walking his dog or is his true agenda to jump on me with a rope and tie me up so he can drag me off to some abandoned bunker where I will be kept and tortured for weeks with only the jacket-clad canine for company and consolation? Just to be clear: This is not a lustful but a fearful fantasy. In case anyone was in doubt. Knowing you guys, I’m sure someone was.
On my way out today I met a man who was walking his dog. He was looking at me with a kind of smirk on his face. I wanted to ask him what his problem was. Was it my shocking pink running jacket? My shocking pink cheeks? Or perhaps it was just the sheer oxymoron of me, running.
See what I did there? Same thing I always do: Make fun of myself and display my total absence of faith in my own ability to achieve anything. Fear not, I will most likely keep doing that. But actually, during this very short period, I have experienced that I can do what everybody else can do. “Well, duh”. I know. But I am genuinely surprised that in just two weeks I see a development and feel a commitment to this project. And so far, the badass Aussie politely refuses to buy any of my excuses and “I really don’t think that is possible for me”-crap. So much so that today, as per his suggestion, I found myself paying money to sign up for a 10 km run in June. If you don’t know me, you have no idea how crazy that is. It is. Crazy. But somehow I suddenly tell myself that maybe it isn’t really that crazy. I mean, most people these days do an Ironman, right? So I should be able to run 10 km six months from now, right? Right!?
But it has got me thinking. My self image is pretty much like that in all aspects of my life. No idea how that happened, actually. And maybe this is my wake-up call to understand that (cliché alert) where most things are concerned, I can achieve what I want to, as long as I put in the effort. I am just as capable as the next person. I will stop here before it becomes necessary to illustrate with close-ups of orchids or butterflies.
So now you know. I have a new project but part of it is to not talk about it to everybody. So if I do, feel free to tell me to shut up and talk about all the interesting and important stuff I normally talk about. Such as…yeah well, you know.
Oh, and by the way: If I have ever asked you about your running, it’s because I actually wanted to know. Trust me, I wouldn’t have asked you otherwise.