Back on the treadmill

Sounds the vuvuzelas, hang up the bunting, prepare the confetti. I’m running again.

I bet you’d been getting ready to pretend to forget that I’d registered for a marathon. Well, stop it. I’m still insane enough to think I’m going to do it.

This is different from the last time. I promise. This time I know what I’m getting myself into. And this time, I’m a different person.

Not only have I paid for my registration for the Stockholm marathon. Now I’ve only gone and bought plane tickets to Sweden and back too.

The last time I ran more than two days in one month was the summer I was in Trinity Hall just after My Boys had moved out in 2012.

And now, every time I run, I keep remembering 2012 me. Because it feels the same. And not just because my running playlist is still the same (Shackles by Mary Mary, My Life Would Suck Without You by Kelly Clarkson, Stomp by Steps, Love Story by Taylor Swift. All the classics.) It’s because I have the same feeling I had then. A feeling of grit and a feeling of optimism. Walking doesn’t do this to me. There’s a place in my psychology that the pain and sweat and effort of running get to that other forms of exercise don’t.

I find it horrendously difficult. I’m still working my way through the couch-to-5K, which is what I did in 2012. But I’m three stone heavier now than I was then. And the problems with morbidly obese people exercising are all in evidence. The friction burns and the blood-filled underpants. I’ve started fashioning what is essentially a sanitary pad out of toilet paper for myself before I walk or run anywhere in an attempt to make it doable. But I’m doing it. And it’s working.

Today, I found myself smiling for no reason while I was running. I think the running was the reason. Imagine. Exercise making me happy.

I haven’t started running outside yet. I’m not quite brave enough to be seen yet. The area of London where I live isn’t as leafy and posh as Dartry was in Dublin. My last experience of running through poorer housing estates was when I did the 8K and having kids come up to me and saying “Mister, you’re too fat to run.” I’m not ready for that. Yet.

And I like the gym. I can run on the treadmill and then relax in the steam room and sauna. Unfortunately, the gym doesn’t have a hot tub, or I’d literally never leave.

So Connor 2018 is going well. I’m running again. I’m meeting boys again. I’m making silly YouTube videos again.

I’ve only mentioned two new year’s resolutions in the blog: to be more sociable – which has mainly been a disaster so far (though I did get disgracefully drunk with work people on Tuesday night) and to be more of a 9-5 person at work (epic fail, still doing more like 10:30-8:30 a lot of days, but getting a little better every day.) Being me, I obviously have more resolutions. A lot. I’m starting to diet again on Saturday. If for no other reason than to make running easier. Wish me luck. And lots of other resolutions too.

One I haven’t mentioned: being more of a dandy. My mother gave me all my dad’s ties. And I’ve always wanted to be a braces guy, so every day of work so far this year, I’ve worn a shirt and tie and braces. So fetch.

But this post isn’t about braces. It’s about me. Running again. And feeling feelings. And having a ridiculous goal. And loving it.

I think, I think, I’m almost sure that I might be happy again you guys. Mwah!

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