Sneaker Pimps: Running Like a Girl Review

I would describe myself as a runner who doesn’t run. Like, ever.web-Running-like-a-Girl

For about five minutes I was really going to do it and for about two of them I actually did. But my shins hurt, my arse bounced behind me like an over enthusiastic beach ball and I wasn’t the natural I thought I was going to be.

So I talked about it a lot and then walked instead.

In fairness, walking has done me wonders and I still wake up at 6.30 every morning for three times around the park come (mostly) rain or shine. I also bought a hula hoop and I do that up to twice a day (arse no longer wobbles quite so much).

But I miss the running I never did and in my heart I think there’s something still there. So the other week I bought Running Like A Girl and I read it with enthusiasm.

Alexandra, or ‘Hemmo’ as her running vest would have her known, is quite something. She was a lot like me in that she had the view that she’d be a track star by default, that she’d be a runner and that would be that.

(Where on Earth I would produce a theory like this from, I have no idea).

Her first run didn’t go quite to plan, and neither did the several that followed. She gave up, she reconnected with her chosen sport – and she kept on going.

The book itself, to the untrained eye, might just contain the story of a girl who learnt to run but I find Hemmo inspiring and really like the dynamic she shares with her father and brother. Even her lovely mum cheering her on to finish the London Marathon made me weep a little.

Anybody overcoming what they perceive to be their own shortcomings is okay by me and Hemmo is really likeable. She talks about food, socialising and life like a friend would and I think this is why her notes on running are so useful. She’s a normal girl who can run.

Sure, the detail she goes into when she describes each marathon can be a little repetitive if you’re not that bothered but I read it with a big ‘F**K yeah’ because I wanted her to get through; to run through the pain and the tears and the self doubt.

Everything Hemmo says about running is true. Nearly every able bodied person is capable of it, they just have to want to do it. And she’s honest, which I really dig. She doesn’t shy away from the fact that she stops and starts, that motivation sometimes lapses.

I found myself really relating to the way she talks about not knowing what she is running for (during one of her down times, after a big achievement). I can put this in the context of my relationship with eating well and moving my body; and perhaps this is why it works so well for me.

That said, I celebrated the completion of this book by not going running. I haven’t been at all yet and I finished the notes a week ago.

I will though. Watch me.

NB: When I talked about this with my brother, he knew who Hemmo was. Apparently, she hosted a few early morning runs and gave some talks at one of the festivals they’ve been to. Which is well cool.

And she lives in Brighton (smug face).

Book details:

  • Running Like a Girl
  • Publisher: Windmill Books (16 Jan 2014)
  • ISBN-10: 0099558955
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099558958
  • Bought paperback (secondhand)

Do You Like My Tight Pants?

This week I purchased two pairs of ‘running tights’.2

I put that in quote marks not because they aren’t what they purport to be but because I’m hardly a runner (yet). I am not using mine strictly to run, but to walk and stomp and throw myself gracelessly about a school hall to the strains of something Latin flavoured (featuring Bulldog).

The thing is, and the clue is really in the title, they are so tight, man. Like bum squeezingly, thigh emphasisingly T-I-G-H-T!

Camel toe checks before leaving the house T-I-G-H-T!

I’m not sure if the world out there is ready for my jelly or even if I am ready for it myself, but I’ve crossed a bridge lately that means I can do things I would never have considered before.

Slap on a long line t-shirt and hoodie and half the battle is won. They make me feel naked which is a feeling I enjoy in the real world but the fact remains, there just isn’t any way to hide exactly what my body looks like in them.

This is my shape and it’s a good one, I suppose. It’s getting stronger but it’s right here and no amount of illusionism can disguise the fact I’m a big girl. Curvy yes, but also big.

(I’m not saying this is a bad thing for fear of sounding like I am body snarking, there is nothing wrong with big as far as I’m concerned. It’s about being happy and comfortable in your skin, and I’m getting there but I’m not there yet). Gottit?

I think this might be the most vulnerable I have felt in a long while, and I’ve been wandering about in sportswear for a few months now, even running in front of ‘real’ runners and strangers.

But the point is, me and my self-esteem rocking running tights are doing it. Like Nike, we’re not just talking about it, we’re doing it.

Swoosh!

Incidentally, I often ask my husband if my arse looks big in clothing and modelling these bad boys was no different. Without hesitation, he always replies with a massive grin on his face:

“Hellllll yeah!”

No hiding the truth in my household!

Run, Fat Girl, Run

I should have included this on the last update but forgot. Again, it probably falls under the category of “Who else, besides me actually cares?” but it’s my blog and I’ll be tedious if I want to!

Running. Yeah, I’m still not doing very well. Between you and me *leans in* I haven’t even attempted to run for two weeks.

Bad. Bad. Bassy.

I know I will never get better if I don’t Just Do It (aah?) but I haven’t been. I haven’t given up per se, I just haven’t been trying. The thought of running still appeals – it’s something I want to be good at – to me it’s more than just about the health benefits.

I can just see myself running in the middle distance, one of those bottles you can hold in your hand in my hand – cute running gear and a sweaty face. I can visualise this and see myself being good at it.

I think my downfall is that I keep thinking that as soon as I lose weight there’ll be less of me to carry around. I’ll be lighter and therefore more aerodynamic! But this makes no actual sense, you don’t lose weight if you ain’t moving, right?

I do feel better. I know I am getting there. It’s not like I’m not moving at all – all the good I am doing should make running easier eventually. I’m going to just start.

What have I got to lose? Except flab, obviously!

*Please note: Photo is not mine – but damn, I want those sneaks!

Wellness & Wonder

1969397_10153971044655018_1247624656365560236_nI don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before but all the exercise and eating well and singing lessons have been part of a bigger picture for me.

I’m calling it ‘Project Me’ but I’ll work on the name,obviously, as part of the whole wellness thing.It’s pretty lame, I know.

Project Me is about making myself better in small ways.

The diet and exercise is a no-brainer: I’m looking to, if not become Miranda Kerr by the Summer then at least be a more toned, confident version of who I am already.

I’m truly not that interested in being smaller, although it would be nice. I’m just looking to whittle my waist back in and not feel like a stranger is walking too close to me only to realise it’s my own bottom behind me. True story.

I like the idea of being a fit fatty (saw it on somebody’s Twitter bio) but this will only work if I can ensure I’m healthy and right now – newsflash! – I’m not as healthy as I could be.Don’t get me wrong I don’t have any health issues, I’m just thinking of the evil BMI, etc (I know it’s a guideline).1610070_10153971065235018_654938086982862426_n

The running has been a huge part of the project, and it hasn’t being going that well. The thing is, I know I get better the more I do it, but I don’t do it as much as I can. And although I have been public about my desire to be a runner, and I want to succeed, I’m still not pushing myself enough.

But this is not just about the physical. I’m working on my inner strengths and mental health too. Hence the singing lessons.

I’m still terrible and although I’m getting more confident as we go along, I still suck. I love it though and my teacher is great.People keep asking me if I’m planning on performing. Erm, no never.

It’s not about anything like that for me, it’s just about doing something I’ve always wanted to.

So, Project Me is about treating my body like a temple (you take cake into temples sometimes, right?), moving as much as possible and trying to enjoy it; and being more positive.

It’s a work in progress.

 

 

 

Running, Man

vintageRunning2Running has been a mixed bag. I am now coming to terms with the fact that I am not naturally shooting about like a pocket rocket with the wind in my hair, and that every single step has been challenging. More so, that I haven’t fallen in love with it right away.

I am starting very slowly and could probably afford to push myself a little more, if I’m completely honest.

But I’m doing it. I’m doing it regularly and I’m getting a tiny bit better every time.

I am also learning how important stretching is and have been taking Cod Liver Oil tablets because my legs hurt so much when I run. Who even am I?

On the plus side, I am goofily proud of my attempts even if I am currently hopeless. And when I don’t run, I walk. I walk like a bitch and am racking up all those burnt calories.

I have also lost a not too sniffy six pounds in two weeks. I know I wasn’t and am going to try not to measure my achievements in the numbers dropping off, but it’s hard not to. I’m losing weight, feeling better and my legs are toning up. It’s also been great for my relationship, all good right?

IMG_20140409_185757

My only minor niggle, which goes against what I just typed slightly: my husband is so much better at this than me. He can actually run and even though my sensible self knows I’m achieving things at my own pace, and is also proud that he is making changes he can be proud of, I have to fight against feeling deflated by it.

That’s so me though. I’m the exact opposite of competitive, I’d far rather give up and sit down than compete with anyone, even when I know I’m better. Which in this case I really am not.

So, you know, trucking along.

 

I ♥ Sundays (and Other Things)

Welcome to my Sunday Appreciation Series, or SAS!

Though the title would suggest an ode to the Day of Rest (hence the addition of ‘and other things’), this is a series of stuff I am currently digging. I love these types of posts from other bloggers and was inspired by Audrey Kitching‘s 20 Things I Love Saturday series.

And while I do love Sundays and have a minor issue with people who don’t appreciate them for what they are (a day off FFS!), not all these things are appreciated on a Sunday.

You with me? Cool.

And so to a few of my  favouritest things…

8440526385_07c8040903_o

My Mad Fat Diary

This amazing comedy drama ended recently and I am already missing it. Based on the true life diary of writer, Rae Earl, it’s the most accurate coming of age tale I have ever seen. Overweight and troubled Rae gets to grips with making new friends, college, family life, self-esteem and first love to the back drop of the best 90’s soundtrack ever.

Since Rae and I grew up in basically the same era, I feel like this could have been my teen life being broadcast. And although my adolescence wasn’t quite as dramatic, I can certainly identify with Rae’s feelings of inadequacy and perpetual awkwardness.

Rae is played by the incredible Sharon Rooney who makes me feel things I thought I had left behind a long time ago (or rather I wish I had). MMFD has everything going for it, makes me laugh and cry in equal measure and features lovely Fit Finn. What more do you need, eh?

PicMonkey Collage

This Hair (Above)

OMFG. Just look at it! Pretty pastel up dos from the Dolce & Gabbana Spring/Summer 2014 shows. I want them all for myself.

Jameela-Jamil-main

Jameela Jamil

Not only is Jameela a total fox, she has also impressed me lately, first with her blog (especially this post) and then in this interview she gave to The Guardian about female empowerment and the reaction she got on Twitter for daring to criticise Miley Cyrus.

New hero.

Running

I am the worst runner right now. Terrible. Embarrassing.

Yet, I feel like a flipping GODDESS for doing it anyway. Sometimes I run for 45 seconds, sometimes 30, sometimes even less. My shins hurt. But so fucking what? It’s still my arse running and my flabby bits flapping in the wind.

I think I’m becoming addicted to the buzz I get after I’ve been out, whether it’s been a short run or a long walk. The times they are a change-ing…

d9d3919269_giant

Game of Thrones Season Four

Winter is coming… and the rest! I cannot wait.

A weekend of recapping Season Three has proven that I’m terrible with names and remembering plot lines. But boy do I love this show more than any other show that has ever been before it. Even The Sopranos.

~

So that’s if for my first SAS post.

 

 

 

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

This isn’t a fitness blog by any stretch but I had to log my first run here, didn’t I? Since I’ve been flapping on about it for a while.IMG_20140403_125343

I went running this evening, starting off by doing half a mile of just walking. Once round the park I thought fuck it, why not just run a bit? So I did.

I can’t even run continually for 45 seconds. I was planning to walk for two minutes, run for one – that’s the method I’ve been ‘studying’.

45 seconds!

That seems pretty poor, I think. However, I haven’t run for at least fifteen years and I am carrying a lot of junk in my trunk (only too apparent when I am running and my arse is bouncing up and down behind me).

I know that sooner or later all the things I have been trying to change will come together to make running easier, or so I have to believe. A couple of my more active friends have assured me that they were exactly the same when they started.

As it is, I have to say that although I currently suck arse as a runner, I wanted to test myself in terms of running in public and whether I would actually be able to do it.

(I know that we all know that nobody cares and nobody bats an eyelid at joggers, but when you don’t feel all that great about yourself, you still think people with point and laugh).

I did it though and nobody cared.

Which is an epic win as far as I’m concerned. YEY ME!