Kitty Blackadder

A Scottish blog about making art, too much eyeshadow and becoming a grown up.

Friday, 11 August 2017

5 Things I've Learned So Far From Jogging

I've been jogging consistently for a couple of months now. I know, I'm as shocked as anyone to be honest. In fact, I've actually had this post typed up for several weeks now, but still felt too nervous to post it, in case it turned out this whole thing was just a phase after all. Who knows, I've had weirder.
Coming to jogging as someone who'd never consistently exersised before, there's been a lot to learn: some of it good, like the cool 'respect nods' from other joggers I pass, and some not so fun - oh hello shin splints. But yeah, it's been an interesting experience, and so today I thought I'd share 5 Things I've Learned So Far From Jogging;

1. The sheer terror that is accidently leading a jogging convoy

This has actually happened to me twice now, and it's not getting any less awful. I jog in Glasgow, in a pedestrainised area that's ideal for jogging, which I am grateful to have close by, but of course, it means that every other jogger in the area is using it too. Sometimes, because the paths are also full of bikes/small children/very bold pigeons, it's not uncommon for there to end up being 5-6 people jogging in a convoy when the path narrows, because it makes it easier to keep moving through the 'crowds'. Now, this is totally fine if you're out just running your usual 10k or whatever, but if, like me, you started jogging with the fitness level of a cushion and running for more than 45 seconds at a time made you feel like your life  was at risk, then suddenly finding yourself in a narrow space, with 5 people jogging in rhythmn behind you and no space to 'pull over' is literally terrfying. Both times I had to pull out the big guns and blast Eye of the Tiger to get me through the stretch... and then collapse off to the side with all the grace of a bird shit hitting the ground at the first opportunity. Suffice to say, I am a solitary runner.

2. The hardest step is the first one

I know, I know, but it is true. Once I'm out there with my music on and breathing in the fresh air I am always up for a jog, but sometimes, sitting in several layers of pyjamas, watching the rain lashing the window, it just doesn't seem that appealing to go out there. The deal I always make to myself is that I have to put on my running gear and go out there. I don't have to run, I don't even have to move from the pavement in front of the door.. but I do have to go out. Shockingly enough, once I'm out there, I always want to run, not least because I'm worried about looking funny to people on the street if I just do a 180 and head back inside.

3. I thought I knew what sweating was before. I didn't.

While, yes, I knew I wasn't exactly an active person before I started jogging, I did think that I had experienced being sweaty before. You know, on sunny days, or when lugging furniture up three flights of stairs (PIVOT!), but, oh, was I wrong. When I am out running, I can literally feel the heat radiating from my face which, by the way, is so red Santa has just recruited me. I am sweating so much it gets in my eyes - and that freaking hurts by the way! Also, sore nose from hayfever? Sweat will get all up in there and make that sting like heck too - who knew?!

I'm telling myself that the sweating must be good for me. I mean, it shows I'm working hard, probably. However my skin is not liking it. Hello breakouts, couldn't see you there, under that one massive zit the size of a baby's head.

4. Living in Scotland, it's not okay to skip a jog because it's raining.

Yeah, jogging in the rain may feel pretty awful, and look a bit daft tbh, but in Scotland, it's not that feasible to avoid it. It's honestly comical how many times the sun's been shining and in the 3 minutes it takes me to wrestle on my sports bra suddenly people are out there building arks, however, waiting it out doesn't work (the rain knows you're waiting. It can sesne it ...), so the only option is a rather soggy session out there. Oh well, that's why we have hair dryers and fleecy blankets right?

5. The change from dreading it to missing it happens really fast

In the couple of months that I've been jogging I have managed to catch a virus that left me with all the energy of Lupin after a full moon, and fall and hurt my knee which (while luckily no real harm was done), looked like some kind of monster from the realm of Mordor was about to hatch out of it for a couple of days. Yeah, sexy. The thing is, if either of these things had occured during my Stardew Valley Hibernation of Winter 2016 or let's face it, any other time in the preceding 25 years, I probably wouldn't have been too bothered. Bring on the Netflix, I would have said. Pop some corn. Charge the Kindle. Order the Dominos. But now? Jeez, I was so agitated with not being able to get out and run for a couple of not insignificant periods of time. I felt worked up and like I wanted to punch the wall sometimes - before quickly remembering I had no energy to do that anyway.

Jogging has so quickly gone from being an obligation, to being time that I really cherish. It's time that I can listen to whatever I want, time that I can focus on me, I can listen to myself and push myself and do something just for me. I can smile when I run, I can cry, I can sing along to the Moana soundtrack when there's nobody behind me (or occassionally, when I just *think* there's nobody behind me).

So there we have it, 5 things I've learned so far from jogging. Are you a jogger? Can you relate to any of this? Any tips for me? Or, what things have you learned from whatever sports you take part in?

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