Tuesday, 26 April 2011

And in the news this week....

Firstly, in the news this week: me and running are over. O.V.E.R. It's official.
We had our good times (primarily, me deriving mild amusement from being dizzy getting off the treadmill), we had our brief tumultous love affair (primarily before I actually started doing any running), and now it's run it's course. Oh, enough already with the cheese. It's rubbish.
It's the most rubbish thing since Sir Clive Sinclair stuck a AAA battery and a couple of trolley wheels on an Easter egg and called it an electric car. Seriously, why does anybody want to actually run?
I understand the Ethiopians doing it. They have to. They've got to get down to the watering hole and back in time to milk the goat before nightfall and the watering hole is 175 miles away. Although if I was Ethiopian, I'd either fashion myself a bike out of a bit of goat hide and some wizened twigs, or I'd be Very Bloody Thirsty.
But why does anybody else do it? I resent lumbering along on the treadmill like some flat-footed elderly penguin almost as much as I resent doing it outside, scaring innocent dog-walkers with my heavy breathing, as I clomp up behind them in the manner of a terminally-asthmatic elephant.
I hate it more than I strongly dislike Katie Melua (hate is a very strong word to bandy at someone who has done me no perceivable personal injury). I hate it more than I hate people who plonk themselves down next to you on the sofa whilst you're watching The Only Way Is Essex and ask, 'But is it real?'. I hate it more than I hate getting to the last Mini Egg in the packet. I hate it more than I hate candy floss, and sundried tomatoes, and Sauvignon Blanc (the waste product of a cat, in my opinion). And I hate it more than Premiership football (there, I've said it. So shoot me).
In short, I'd rather be held hostage in Essex by a Premiership footballer and force fed candy floss than I would do a run. But fear not, faithful followers, whilst I've decided that the 10k may not be a realistic target (I believe Tatton Park closes at 6pm - I'd be locked in the park over-night, and possibly gored to death by an irate stag), I will be doing the 5k instead. Can't take more than half a day, surely?

In other matters, all hail to the hooded ninja warrior who has been rescuing the citizens of Tunbridge Wells from anti-social behaviour and general nastiness (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1380610/The-Ninja-Tunbridge-Wells-Pyjama-crusader-launches-vigilante-campaign.html). In all seriousness, it's refreshing to find someone willing to stand up and be counted in an effort to make our streets safer, and our communities closer. I'm not sure how much of a hotbed of crime Tunbridge Wells is, but still, somebody's got to get that cat out of a tree, and at least if a fireman's not doing it, it's not costing the great British taxpayer about £576.  The anonymous man has apparently been seen assisting old ladies across the road, dressed all in black and wearing a hood. There's a joke in there about old ladies having a stroke, but it's very old and crude, and quite beneath me.

Right, I'm off to watch Masterchef. It's basically the normal guy, the Italian bird who was a nurse but now wants to give up helping others and become a selfish, egotistical maniac instead, and the mad American who makes desserts out of dry ice and beer. Tonight can only be better than last night's episode of John Torode cooking John Torode's menu in John Torode's kitchen for John Torode's friends and family, hindered to varying degrees by the slightly-perplexed contestants. It promises to be better, if only on the grounds of the expressions of the 3 finalists on being told they were off to New York to cook: Italian bird...ecstatic. Normal Guy....chuffed to little meatballs. Mad American, from, I believe, New York....massive underwhelment (I know it's not a word, but it's how he looked).
His expression was much as mine would have been had I appeared in the Masterchef final and John and Greg had informed me I was off to learn great things in the restaurants of Urmston. Exactly.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Gym'll Fix It - Running On Empty

It's only Tuesday, but already I have learnt this week that my 10k charity run target in June is under threat on two fronts (no, not those ones): 1. I don't like running. At all. In any way. 2. I don't like being pink and sweaty.

I had a suspicion about the running hatred before I started, what with never having voluntarily run a step in 30-odd years and all. But this week, it's reared it's ugly head with a vengeance, spitting on my repeated attempts to run for longer than 12 minutes (I know, I know - it's 10k, not 10cm), and trampling on my pathetic attempts to embrace the boredom and move past it.

After a mere 5 minutes, with my enthusiasm plummeting faster than Charlie Sheen's ticket sales, I watch the figures on the treadmill keyboard limp painfully slowly past 0.5km. Oh, and there goes another....2 calories. Whoop whoop. By now, I could tell you every news headline on the gym tv, the telephone number for Cheadle Glass, and the last seven songs they played on the screen....and there goes another calorie....

I can't peer round at everybody else and gain mild entertainment from people watching, because I've discovered if I move my line of sight from the zone directly in front of me, I fall over. So I stare, glassy-eyed at the tv screens, contact lenses drying out from too little blinking, wishing some serious news item would break to relieve the boredom slightly. Nothing too drastic, you know, just a volcano erupting somewhere or a government coup in French Guyana.

I'm not helped by the wheezing, pounding noises emitted from the bloke next to me, who is clearly the running equivalent of the guy on the driving range who likes to remind everyone how manly he is by whacking 100 golf balls with a Big Bertha, the noise of which can be heard from the other side of the M6. 'You are not Haile Gebrselassie,' I direct angry thoughts in his treadmill's direction, unable to actually speak, 'You are Bob from telesales. Now pack it in!'

I've noticed distinct behavioural differences between men and women in the gym (I'm ok when I'm on the weights machines - I can peer at everybody without falling off). Women generally scuttle from one machine to the next, anxious to get it over and done with without everyone seeing any pink, sweaty, wobbly bits. They avoid eye contact and have headphones in at all times to avoid initiating any random conversation. Men, on the other hand, wear their pink sweatiness like a badge of honour. They periodically glance round to check who has noticed their prowess on the rower/treadmill/weights bench, and make as much noise as possible, grunting like a mountain goat as they get pinker and pinker.

I am about to push Bob from telesales off his running perch. If only I could dismount elegantly off my own, instead of staggering drunkenly like some inebriate on a hen-do. I fear there is about as much chance of me grasping the point of running as there is explaining trigonometry to a labrador, but I will persevere. Mainly because if I manage to drop another 3 calories on that weirdy-skiing machine-type-thing, I'm due a quarter of a blueberry muffin *sighs*.