Hi, my name is Stuart and I’m a run-aholic.
Those are words I never thought I’d utter (forget that run-aholic isn’t actually a word). How my life has changed, not just that I’m quite a different shape to 12 months ago, see last week’s blog Lies, damned lies and statistics , but that my whole mindset has changed and something that started out as a way of getting a bit of much needed exercise is now quite literally taking over my life and many of my waking thoughts. No running dreams yet, they’ll happen soon right? I’m waiting for the one where I nail the sub 2 hour marathon with a second to spare!, I’m obsessed.
I wake up and think about running, I go to work and think about running (if my boss is reading this I do actually still do the work too) and then I come home and either write this blog or think about the next topic for my blog or read another article online about how not to need the toilet whilst running or sometimes I even go out and actually run!
Part of the reason I enjoy running is that I’m a massive introvert and putting my headphones in and just getting out there really suits me, I just get in the zone and can be alone with my thoughts, my run and a bit of Bruce Springsteen. I think the fact that running lends itself to something so inate in me only serves to fuel the addiction, I thrive on it.
That said last Wednesday evening I married my new running addiction with my an old favourite of mine, Twitter, and interacted with some new people. And what a joy it was. I asked a question of the lovely people on #ukrunchat and was inundated with advice and support, it sounds corny but I really felt the love and a genuine sense of community from total strangers, how refreshing. Although my running/advanced jogging is a very solitary affair I have somehow found a whole new group of online friends, thanks to everyone who took the time to share their experiences, I’ll be back with more questions no doubt, be patient with me.
A large chunk of my Sunday has been spent on my addiction too and I even managed to involve the wife and kids to make some family time of it. We headed over to Manchester so that I could have a gait analysis and get myself some new wheels, I spent an age trying trainers, on and off the treadmill, moulded insoles in, out, different trainers on different feet, up and down the shop while my son Isaac pulled the arm off one of the mannequins (sssssshhhhh!!! it went back ok!!!!). Eventually I went for these bad boys, feel great, can’t wait to get out in them and break them in, and given my addiction I naturally spent more on them than I’ve ever spent on a pair of trainers in my life, no small thing for a tight and proud Yorkshireman with a Scottish mother (hi mum, she reads this too).
Given that my marathon isn’t for another 7 months I’m a tad worried about where the addiction will go next. No doubt there’ll be ridiculously early morning runs on a regular basis, mainlining energy gels will become the norm, please someone stop me though if you see me heading for the tattoo artists with that dazed, confused look on my face muttering something about “I ♥ running” and my left bum cheek!!