#28: “Respect the Distance”

#28: “Respect the Distance”
3 minutes to read

I’ve done something rather foolish (read: I’ve been a tit) and signed up to run a half marathon in November. Actually I’ve signed up for two, but the second isn’t until next April so it doesn’t count yet. 

This is based mainly on me lacing up my trainers at one month post-partum and running 5k without dying, and thereby self-proclaiming that with the birth of Moo I’ve miraculously turned into Jo Pavey.

Soon I was finishing most of my social media posts with #thisgirlcan and generally naffing everyone off by being a Smug Sue.

I enlisted one of my wonderful marathon-running friends as a motivational coach, assuming she’d look after me without actually warning her that I was calling her up for duty. This has so far involved me screenshotting my Runkeeper logs and barking at her “Am I doing alright? AM I A RUNNER YET?” to which she replies with lovely soothing words like “Gosh, you’re super-speedy! Go go go, little legs of steel!” I love her. Years ago she comforted me on a bench after I’d made a total pigs ear of my second ever Parkrun and I knew she was a keeper.

I’ve got myself a clever countdown app, inserted a cute photo of the marathon logo (Gosport, FYI), and captioned it “Sweat is fat crying”.

I’ve even got a t-shirt with that printed on, and it really does make me sweat to the point of hallucinatory dehydration because it’s made from cheap material and is clearly a novelty garment rather than a proper exercise top.

If you see me in it and I’m running, feel free to wick me. Wick me real good.

I’ve bought a running buggy off Gumtree and subscribed to Women’s Running magazine on a 5 issues for a fiver offer. I’ve joined about 80 Facebook groups loosely with a running theme and I scored myself a “one previous careful lady owner” Garmin on the down-low (SMP folks, SMP).

So really, the only thing left to do is actually get good at running. I’m not bad – although I’ve massively over-egged my training already because I’m already up to 13 miles in one sitting (Oh, how I wish I was sitting!). But going through an entire day of hardcore parenting and then stepping outside at 8pm to run 13 sodding miles over the course of 110 minutes isn’t exactly a cakewalk, especially when I’ve eaten aduki beans and Brie for dinner and want to vomit into a bush at mile 6.

My husband is legit good at running, brilliant in fact. He does proper marathons and then cycles to work the next day. He runs seven minute miles for about two hours straight. He’s proper badass. I therefore regard him slightly warily as a competitor, inspiration and killjoy all in one. He did try to do me up like a kipper when I was searching for a fast and flat half to enter, by suggesting Bath. Have you been to Bath? If you’re due to go, regardez vous the undulating, hilly vista before your eyes as you coast in via the M4. Bloody stitch-up merchant.

“Yeah, I mean, I think you’ll be fine,” he tells me. “All you need to make sure of is that you respect the distance.”

I nod along sagely. Respect the distance. Got it. Except I don’t really get what he means – how does one respect a distance further than their running legs have carried them? I respect that it’s a bloody long way, 13.1 miles. I respect that this isn’t something I can just wing, and I’ll need to keep training. I crucially mustn’t let it turn into another one of my fads and sack the whole thing off when the clocks go back. I’ve paid for it now, anyway.

I’ll tell you this for free though. I’ve discovered, via my amazing Run Mummy Run Facebook group friends, that going commando while running is brilliant. Revelatory. I’m Breezy Gonzalez. Oh, #thisgirlcan…and #thisgirldoes.

-SJW August 2016

This post first appeared on Meet Other Mums on 11th July 2016. You can view that version, and my other posts as a member of the #BlogSquad, here.

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  1. August 9, 2016 / 7:35 am

    “it really does make me sweat to the point of hallucinatory dehydration because it’s made from cheap material and is clearly a novelty garment rather than a proper exercise top”

    Love this!! I wish I could run. I don’t think I could even run from a fire.


    • August 11, 2016 / 10:00 pm

      Well, you might do that and then die anyway because of the exertion, haha 🙂 Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂

  2. August 9, 2016 / 7:44 am

    I would not even bother… I hate running! Girl, the best sport ever is shopping! Especially with a pram. You work out all your core muscles… Good luck for the big day!!!! #Chucklemums

    • August 9, 2016 / 7:42 pm

      Yes I think you’re right, except when you get stuck in the toilet on a shopping trip like I did recently ???? Thanks for commenting lovely xx

    • August 11, 2016 / 9:59 pm

      We need to make this shopping date Frenchie! Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂 xx

  3. August 9, 2016 / 8:01 am

    Lol I cried my way around my local Parkrun on Saturday – it was a HUGE mistake a couch to 5 k in a day – hopefully I’ll be able to run more than 1k this week ????????????

    • August 11, 2016 / 9:47 pm

      Oh bless you – I’ve cried around Parkrun too! In fact I’ve not done it since I cried, lol. Let me know how you get on this week? xx

  4. August 9, 2016 / 8:01 am

    My god you make me feel so unfit! Fair play to you, that is not an easy thing to do or keep motivated at. But with the 80 odd facebook groups and tour magazine you’re sorted! The very best of luck! I’ll be waiting to hear how it went #chucklemums

    • August 11, 2016 / 9:46 pm

      No no no, we all have different strengths so don’t let me make you feel bad! Haha if only one of the 80 facebook groups could actually DO it for me…Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂

  5. August 9, 2016 / 8:40 am

    Oh goodness, I have agreed to do a marathon, in memory of my friend. I have no doubt that friend is looking down on us laughing at our madness. Luckily, my marathon is a walking one through London. I’ve been told that I need to train though – ugh. Perhaps I might get a t-shirt like yours. The problem with training on Jersey is that I will just be looping the island all day! #chucklemums

    • August 11, 2016 / 9:45 pm

      Oh love, this sounds fantastic though – is it the Moonwalk? Just vaseline your thighs and you’ll be fine! When is it? I’ll be thinking of you too – I reckon the #tribe can sponsor you a few bob between us xxx

  6. August 9, 2016 / 9:34 am

    Good luck! I love a bit of running, but haven’t done any for ages. What with working and blogging and mumming, it has taken a back seat. Good for you, and I’ll be cheering you on from the sidelines! #tribe

    • August 11, 2016 / 9:43 pm

      Yeah, I basically sacrifice sleep which is only going to end badly! Better crack on with some z’s before the race otherwise I may actually die, yikes. Thanks for the support lovely xx #tribe

  7. August 9, 2016 / 9:50 am

    I wish you all the luck! I couldn’t run anywhere without getting 2 black eyes! xx

    • August 11, 2016 / 9:39 pm

      Ah I wish I had that problem! Bloody fried eggs over here, I barely need a bra AND i’m breastfeeding! Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂

  8. August 9, 2016 / 10:12 am

    Wow – you seem totally prepared for this…I have no doubt you’ll smash it. I’ve never gone more than 10K myself (my knees won’t let me), so very admirable! And you’re totally right about commando running…although for guys, do bicycle shorts count as underwear?! #chucklemums

    • August 11, 2016 / 9:38 pm

      Yeah yeah, blame it on the knees 😉 Nah, bicycle shorts don’t count, unless they’re padded. Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂

  9. August 9, 2016 / 10:27 am

    Oh gosh I feel tired just reading this! Well it sounds like you are very prepared, well done?! ???? Running seems to be so addictive, not that I have managed to get further than the end of my road for the past few weeks, but friends that have done 5k have suddenly gone on to do insane marathons etc. You will be doing Iron Man next (have you heard of it? It doesn’t involve ironing, just killing yourself slightly). Good luck!!!! #chucklemums

    • August 11, 2016 / 9:37 pm

      Good god I could never do an Iron Man! I have a few friends who have done it and one of them had feet that resembled slabs of raw steak afterwards. Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂

  10. August 9, 2016 / 11:09 am

    Oh wow, you put me to shame. Pre-children I did three marathons and used to run as a commute in London (7 miles every morning with an effing backpack on. Fast forward four years and I get out of breath pushing the swings. Go you. I mean it – very inspiring INDEED. I have signed up for the Great South Run as I’ve done it 8 times but I fear, as October gets closer and closer, I may find an excuse… #chucklemums

    • August 11, 2016 / 9:35 pm

      Bloody hell! I knew you used to do marathons actually, something else for my file marked “things I admire and could never hope to emulate about RRM”. I’ve done the GSR a few times and it’s great, bar the bottleneck between miles 1 and 2….brilliant atmosphere all the way around and almost fun. Almost. Let me know how you get on please xx

  11. August 9, 2016 / 11:10 am

    Wow, you’re brave. So many miles! Love the ‘Breezy Gonzalez’ Haha. Good luck! #twinklytuesday

  12. August 9, 2016 / 11:18 am

    Rather you than me mate. I’m as bad at running as I am at everything else. #chucklemums

    • August 11, 2016 / 9:30 pm

      Oh don’t be a dick. You’re good at writing and wedding favours and looking brooding while drinking tea on some decorative steps while at a Tefal shoot….

  13. August 9, 2016 / 11:42 am

    Wow, you are doing well. My baby is 20 months already and I’m still struggling back to 5k. And when I do get there, it’s going to be incredibly slow. It’s great that you can laugh at yourself for being so keen – some runners take themselves pretty seriously! I just usually hide away from people who can run for more than 5 minutes at a time. 🙂 #chucklemums

    • August 11, 2016 / 9:30 pm

      Oh I still hide away, don’t worry – I’m best a solo running and hate competitive races so christ knows what I’m doing entering this! You will get back there lovely, if you want to. Or maybe you’ll find another sport that you enjoy far more – running is very plod plod and not always that stimulating to the senses. Nothing wrong with slow either, and I bet you’re not even that slow! Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂

  14. August 9, 2016 / 11:59 am

    Good luck! I’ve tried all that running lark – maxed out after one 5k and declared myself retired. hopefully you’ll do better than me! #Chucklemums

    • August 11, 2016 / 9:27 pm

      Great way to go out on a high though, 5k is hard! Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂

  15. August 9, 2016 / 12:31 pm

    I think you’re very brave to attempt a half marathon. Or do any type of running, really. The only time I run is when I’m trying to catch a bus.

    On the plus side, if you run 13.1 miles, I figure you can eat all the cake you want after that.


    • August 11, 2016 / 9:27 pm

      Oh I’ll be eating a crap ton of cake for the next DECADE on the back of this one, don’t you worry! Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂

  16. August 9, 2016 / 12:35 pm

    Haha I love this – how do you make everything so funny?! I truly detest running though, and I am usually extremely scornful of anyone who posts about going to the gym or running on Facebook. But as it’s you Moose, I’ll let you off!! Good on you babe and I’m sure you’ll be fabulous. #DreamTeam

    • August 11, 2016 / 9:25 pm

      Honey, I’ll never post a photo of my abs. How about that for a promise? *small voice* I don’t want to do it, can I come and sit in the pub and drink beer and eat peanuts, then come home with you and eat biscuits and drink tea? Thanks Ed xxxxx

  17. August 9, 2016 / 1:36 pm

    It’s brilliant when you get the bit between your teeth and have something to aim for. It’s all doable when you are motivated. You’ll nail it and feel fabulous for doing it too. good luck with it all. Alison x #chucklemums

    • August 11, 2016 / 9:23 pm

      Thank you for the encouraging words – mind over matter, with me. Legs are strong (well, kinda) but the ol’ brain likes to play tricks so I need to work on the mentality I think. Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂

  18. August 9, 2016 / 3:05 pm

    “Sweat is Fat Crying” …….Whahahaha!!!!! I will forever have that picture in my mind when I run!!! Good luck! Cant wait to see the Instagram photo’s you WILL share!!!! I want to see!!! #chucklemums

    • August 11, 2016 / 9:23 pm

      Mmmmmm, sweaty back shots all over Insta! Just you wait, just you wait. Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂

  19. August 9, 2016 / 3:39 pm

    Oh god, I couldn’t imagine anything worse! I mean, I admire you and everything and I’m totally envying you right now but even the thought of running makes me need a nap! You’re pretty amazing for being able to run a 5k (at all, let alone so soon after birth!) you must be pretty pleased.

    One day I’d like to run. But for now I’ll just have a little rest x


    • August 11, 2016 / 9:21 pm

      Lol – also game for a little rest. A little rest allows us to think and take stock which is basically far more productive than running hell for leather and feeling vommy. Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂

  20. August 9, 2016 / 4:50 pm

    I am very impressed as I can’t even rum for the bus. Well done Breezy Gonzalez and good luck #DreamTeam & TwinklyTuesday

    • August 11, 2016 / 9:22 pm

      Thank you, I can’t have invented that phrase but I might steal it for a sister blog, ha. Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂

  21. August 9, 2016 / 7:44 pm

    My husband is a marathon runner and there is NO WAY IN SHITTING HELL i could double up and run a full 26. They’re all crazy! Thanks for commenting xx

  22. August 9, 2016 / 7:47 pm

    ahhh good luck! Bath is lovely! im sh*t at running so hats off to you 🙂 #chucklemums

    • August 11, 2016 / 9:21 pm

      Bath is gorgeous but not for crappy running legs like mine! Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂

  23. August 9, 2016 / 8:55 pm

    Commando sport is the one! Good luck #chucklemums

    • August 11, 2016 / 9:19 pm

      Seriously worth a go! Although not with winter on the approach. Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂

  24. August 10, 2016 / 8:24 am

    Haha at least you sold your ticket and maybe recovered your losses? For what it’s worth, 10k is apparently a really hard distance because it’s too long to go all out guns blazing but not long enough to take it gently, so you either exert yourself massively and go off way too fast or limp around without breaking a sweat. Well avoided ???? xx

    • August 13, 2016 / 11:36 pm

      Just popping back to say thanks for linking up to #dreamteam! Well, I think it was definitely a good swerve but interesting to know about the 10k thing. I have to say that when I was into running, the positive mindset was pretty impressive and amazing what can be achieved by saying to yourself “just another 1k, ah go on!” xx

      • August 13, 2016 / 11:41 pm

        True – you can also trick your legs a bit by going along one extra road…my road is insanely long (literally about a quarter of a mile) so if I nip to the end and back I can whack on an extra half mile while my brain thinks “this is alright, we’re basically home”! Thanks for hosting #dreamteam xx

  25. August 11, 2016 / 11:03 am

    “Sweat is Fat Crying!” – I am laughing so hard now my sides hurt. A big thumbs up for me, loved this post and you go, girl! I look forward to reading your post after you have done the marathon. #bigpinklink

    • August 11, 2016 / 11:23 am

      It might take me a little while to write as I’ll need to summon my soul back from the dead first ???? thank you for hosting BigPinkLink xx

  26. August 11, 2016 / 6:06 pm

    Oh my I believe I can never run having had asthma as a child. So I’m impressed at you just being able to run any distance. #bigpinklink

  27. August 11, 2016 / 9:20 pm

    Mmm, we’ll see. The close it gets the less convinced I am in my ability, ha. Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂

  28. August 11, 2016 / 9:57 pm

    Divorce him. Or enter him into the marathon to shut his gob. I’m sure I’ve already replied to this comment as I remember sitting on the loo trying to have some peace and quiet when I read it, but I can’t see my reply, so this may be a duplicate. May as well tell you off again for your silly diet and remind you that I’m the weirdo stalker who thinks you’re totally beeeee-yoooo-tiful as you are xx

  29. August 11, 2016 / 10:25 pm

    Wow you are like my idol. I’ve just started running and thought 4 miles was good! Your going to totally smash that marathon by the sound of it! #chucklemums

    • August 11, 2016 / 10:38 pm

      4 miles is pretty bloody good! You could run part way between our houses and I could meet you halfway then we could run to the nearest pub and cry?

  30. August 12, 2016 / 9:58 pm

    Feel free to come and visit Little Mummy Running for the lighter side of running. It’s about running at your own pace and running away from the madness. I can recommend “The Tales of the Last Man Car”. Running can be equally hideous and wonderful. Ps, I have been to Bath. Eek x #chucklemums

    • August 12, 2016 / 10:09 pm

      Ah thank you for that tip – I’ll hunt you out now! I’ll also look up that book, many thanks xx

  31. August 13, 2016 / 9:52 pm

    I have definitely commented on this before, somewhere…it was a most amusing and insightful comment, I’m certain. Definitely would have included something about you being an absolute nutter for even thinking about a whole half a marathon! My pelvic floor would def not cope.

    p.s. seriously? I have to do maths to comment on your posts now?!

    • August 13, 2016 / 11:36 pm

      I’ve removed the maths feature! I was a nutter for putting that on, let alone entering a race.

  32. August 14, 2016 / 5:33 pm

    Sweat is fat crying…this made me giggle..I went for a 14 mile bike ride the other day and that made me still and is relatively easy compared to running..utter respect to you!!! #chucklemums xx

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