In women’s health forums, running can be a controversial topic. My passion for it has received its fair share of colorful responses such as, “Running is the worst choice of sport for endometriosis,” or, “It will burst your cysts, if you have any.” And the most puzzling of all: “Running is not good for women.”
Nevertheless, I still do it. Not because I live to disagree with others, but because it makes me feel better, in more ways than one. I am not a fast runner , but the moment the endorphins kick in, it feels as good as eating cake. OK, maybe not as good as chewing on sugar and buttercream while wearing cozy pajamas, but it does get close.
A few weeks ago, I received a letter from the organizers of A run raising money for The British Heart Foundation . I had completely forgotten I’d volunteered to run a silly distance through the flat — and mostly sticky — streets of Regents Park. In fact, I apply each year as a joke, fully aware that so many people want to run it — that there aren’t enough places to meet the demand. A ballot selects who runs, and the chances of me getting a spot were pretty slim. Yet, lo and behold, I got a place.
Sharing the news, I’ve had fantastically mixed reactions from friends and relatives ranging from supportive to downright horrified. Some don’t get why anyone would want to willingly attempt to complete a 10km run. Truthfully, I also question my sanity sometimes.
So, why am I doing this? Don’t I have anything better to do on a Sunday in spring? Probably not, but the following are my reasons nonetheless:
Because years back, I could barely walk
This is where I blame somebody else for my madness, namely Eddie Izzard. Ever since I saw this British actor and comedian run a ridiculous number of marathons (43) in a similarly ridiculous number of days (51), I live for his zest for life. I had my sexy limp, could barely stand, and had lost a job I adored. Doctors were testing me for all sorts of colon defects and failing to find an answer. Watching Eddie Izzard made me promise myself that one day not only would I be able to walk without pain, but also that I would be able to run a marathon. I even told Eddie about my intentions when I finally met him, and would have probably come across as really cool — and not at all hysterical — had I not turned into a blubbering mess. Since I never look great running,
Because I probably can’t carry out a pregnancy to term
Last week, I was seated at a lovely cafe in Bath when three women sat next to me. All of them were gorgeous, and each had a baby wrapped around her chest. Generally, I’m OK with not producing my own human puppies. I believe there are other ways to be a parent and I’m fine with that. However — and I blame the hormones — within two minutes, I crammed the slice of avocado toast I’d ordered into my mouth, took my coffee to go, and disappeared before turning into a mess of ugly crying. So, no, I probably can’t produce a perfect baby, but I can run for miles, so there.
Following my last and hopefully final surgery I figured it would be a good idea to be as physically fit as possible. This way, I can ensure my recovery is not as drawn-out, which will benefit me physically and mentally.
I’m pretty determined to run this charity race, but if I wake up and my body says no, I will not run. And while many women run marathons on their periods, I will not be joining that badass club.
I know I am obviously slightly bananas, running for miles because I can. Nobody is chasing me, yet putting one foot in front of the other in questionable leggings while listening to Example on repeat is my jam. And for as long as my legs allow me to, I will continue to train for this race, even if it doesn’t happen.
Watch out, here I come … albeit very slowly.