Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Running Like A Stace

Last week I felt so utterly despondent and I knew some measures had to be taken. So, along with booking an appointment for the university counsellor, I decided to go for a run. Running seems easy enough, basically just one foot in front of the other in rapid succession. Anyone can do that. Let's be clear though, I am not a person who runs or is interested in keeping fit, so this was a strange new world for me. A world of sweat and stretching and trackpants.

Firstly, what to wear, and do I even have anything that is appropriate for such an activity? The answer is no, so my mum gave me some trackpants and old running shoes to keep. Thanks mum. Appreciate it. The next thing to organise is the route, and a quick check on tells me I should go up Holy St. Easy, done. Next, should I bring my ipod, and if so, what should I listen to? This prompted me to make a running playlist, which can be found below. The main criteria were that the songs had to:

- have 'running' in the title
- remind me of being in motion
- be really energetic

Lastly, we need to think about stretches. My Dad always says that before you stretch you should warm up your muscles, so I usually jog on the spot for a few minutes. Then I hold each stretch for 10 seconds. Quads, hamstrings, calves, soleus, ankles, shoulders, arms, neck. All that is left is the act itself, so I set out (running).

The first part of the run is enjoyable, and my limbs move as if they are no longer a part of me; a marionette. Then it starts to set in, and my breath gets shorter and my legs protest and my ipod earphones keep falling out. I reach the end of the road and do some more stretches. I am a sweaty mess but I don't care because I figure that's what people who are running look like. I am running again, only my shins are aching and I am choking and I want to stop so I do. Now I am walking, but fast, and I am red in the face and my eyes are fixed on the space in front of me. I start to run again, I run and I run and I forget the world. I stop at my letter box, feeling defeated. I say hi to my flat mate who is in the kitchen. His name is Gary. Then I go upstairs to my balcony and do some stretches. I sit down with my legs crossed and close my eyes. I think of nothing but the wind on my face. I breathe in and out. I am living.

1. Run Run Run by The Velvet Underground
2. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi by Radiohead
3. Wicked Gil by Band Of Horses
4. Runaway by The National (crap song but can't argue with the title)
5. O Katrina! by The Black Lips
6. A.T.T.I.T.U.D by Die! Die! Die!
7. Set Out Running by Neko Case
8. Running Like A Man by Wet Wings
9. Last Night by The Strokes
10. You Are A Runner And I Am My Fathers Son by Wolf Parade
11. Running by Menomena
12. Bullets by Editors
13. Travel Is Dangerous by Mogwai
14. Keep The Car Running by Arcade Fire
15.Sec Walkin' by My Morning Jacket (for when I get tired and start walking)
16. The Modern Age by The Strokes
17. Shyness Will Get You Nowhere by Die! Die! Die!
18. Fall Of The Star High School Running Back by The Mountain Goats
19. The National Anthem by Radiohead


  1. this is so excellent!

    things that deter me from running: people seeing me and thinking I'm a twat. as a result I only run when it is night time.

    I like to run in leggings but they often fall down.

    researching a running track is good. I usually hurtle myself towards the nearest park and make myself jog/walk/run through it for about half an hour. this is my idea of sufficient exercise.

    But I just don't find running to be enjoyable. Not like in "What Women Want" where the Nike ad woman is at ease on the road and she owns it. I feel exhausted and need my inhaler. Of course, if I did it more, these problems would be less profound..

    Also I don't like taking my ipod because then I know how long I've been running for. I prefer to judge by distance or something.

  2. I liked this a lot (I'd had it unread in reader, because it was too long for my usual skim reading/looking at photos perusal).

    Running seemed so easy as a kid, and now it kind of destroys me when I occasionally try.

    I tend to dislike themed mix cds, they seem so arbitrary. But if it works for you, that's good.
    Really good story. I like the last few sentences especially.

  3. Actually, I know what you mean about themed mix CDs. It was more of a gimmick and I probably won't listen to it at all. In fact, I've found running is better without my ipod, because that gets kind of annoying.

    Nice "What Woman Want" reference Suse. But so apropos.