Where There's a Will

After posting about my lack of willpower of the weekend, and receiving some useful and thought provoking comments (thanks!), I think I need to step back and see what else could possibly be the problem.

Or, indeed, if there is a problem at all.

I started jogging last summer, the inspiration for which came about at the end of a 10K race near where I grew up. We happened to turn up at Lomond Shores last June, only to find that it was the finishing line for the Polaroid Balloch 10K which was being marshalled by some local groups, one of which was the Boys Brigade. I bumped into one of the officers that I knew and got chatting in that “haven’t seen you for 10 years” abbreviated kind of way. I asked how long he’d been helping out with the race, and he said he’d been doing it a fair few years now and it was always fun to see ex-members of the Boys Brigade, he then suggested that I should be out there running it but “I guess you’d need to lose that spare tire, eh!”. It was a tongue-in-cheek comment and certainly not meant as an insult.

But boy, did it sting.

Like most fatties, I know that I’m overweight. I know WHY I’m overweight and I really don’t need reminded of it as I’m perfectly aware of the facts. Feeling uncomfortable in clothes, always wondering what other people think of you.. well it’s not the greatest way to live your life. I don’t worry about it all that much, to be honest, but jibes about my weight always hit home hard.

And so, two days later I found myself scanning the local free paper during some.. eh… private time (e.g.), when I stumbled across a small advert. It said that “JogScotland” was starting up soon and was open to everyone, of every level. It made specific mention of the fact that it would help you get from walking to jogging in ten weeks. In a rare act of spontaneity (I DO like to plan things), I phoned up, signed up and two weeks later I was standing about with a bunch of complete strangers. Most of whom were women.

My goal, even then, was simple.

I WILL run that 10K in June 2007.

And I’m on track to do just that. It’ll take me about an hour I reckon, and I’m not up to that point just yet but I’m heading the right way.

I have a small advantage as well. My Dad used to do a lot of running, and whilst I didn’t go out with him that often, I did learn a fair bit and used to pick up his running magazines when searching for some reading material for.. umm.. yeah you know.

So I know that each runner has a unique gait (I’m neutral as it happens, due to being reasonably flat-footed), I know that running a negative split is the best way to acheive a PB. I know that PB means Personal Best. I know you need to hydrate properly, I know that stretching is important, I know that warm-ups are as important as cool-downs, I know about wicking materials, relaxing your running style, how to get rid of a stitch, breathing, blah blah blah. I know most of what I need to know about running.

I have also, from day one, tracked my progress on the Fetch website. That was augmented by the Nike+ system in October but I keep both up-to-date as the Fetch database captures more information (particularly it allows comments, and to log which trainers you wore… good running shoes have a limited mileage). Each run takes me towards that 10K goal.

Admittedly I do use the fact that I go running as an excuse to overeat slightly, and I guess this is where the willpower issues comes back in. Over the past month or so I’ve eaten too much crap and everytime I’ve waved it off as “I’ll just run it off”. Which would be fine if I was clocking hours of running a week, but I’m not. I’ve heard myself say “I’ll run it off tomorrow” several times, with increasing frequency, over the past month and I guess that’s the real issue.

To try and counteract this we no longer have ANY “bad food” in the house, Louise has been warned that if she buys a ‘wee treat’ for me it’ll go in the bin and… then my parents turned up with some delicious strawberry tarts… I just can’t win!!!

However, as has been pointed out, you are allowed the occasional treat, so the strawberry tarts weren’t so bad. As long as I’m reasonably good the rest of the week I’ll be fine. Right? Ultimately it’s down to me to lower the frequency of such treats but yet again there is a small problem with that approach. Namely. Me.

You see I seem to have it in my head that if you are watching what you eat, changing your eating habits (we don’t “diet” anymore, do we), and you have over-indulged in the past then it’s only right that you suffer a little and deprive yourself of “nice things”. I guess it’s the whole protestant work ethic kicking in, or some form of attributed guilt. I’m not entirely sure.

Add in a slight groin strain, a constant feeling of “tired legs” and it’s a wonder I manage to go out for a run at all.

I’m sure it’s just a spell, and I even waited a week or so for it to pass before posting anything about it, mainly because it’s a bit pathetic really, if this is my only worry then gee, what a life!

So I’ll focus harder on my goal, and rather than think that just going for a run will be enough, I’ll try and make sure that everything I do is focussed towards that end. Fingers crossed I guess.

Now, I just need to explain to Louise that I can’t cut the grass as it’ll muck up my “training”..

Written By

Long time blogger, Father of Jack, geek of many things, random photographer and writer of nonsense.

Doing my best to find a balance.

More From Author

You May Also Like

Busy busy

Open the mic

Forever writing my song


I really should have edited this before I posted it but I’m fair too busy. please excuse speeling mistooks and grammar that is bad too.

My on-off boy is far heavier than he should be. He’s 6ft 4, so carries it very well, and like many men, carries it only on his tummy. He constantly makes self-deprecating comments about it but no move to do anything which drives me a bit nuts. I try to make supportive noises about health and fitness, but I’m always mindful that I’d hate for someone to comment on my weight and keep away from that. Ironically, a nasty comment would probably spur him down the gym.

hans says:

Um loads of women you say, your like a magnet for something…..

Good for you that you’ve forced yourself to do the running thing! I don’t find it easy, but twice a week at lunchtimes I’m going running with a colleague whose ass I want to whip. I’m not very good using PBs as motivators – I need to beat someone else!

How on earth DO you get rid of a stitch though? I just assumed you had to run through the pain, which is what I’ve always done ๐Ÿ™

[…] Gordon’s admitted to being uncomfortable with this but is he just more honest than most, or do the majority of men who consider themselves to be overweight get pissed off with it being remarked upon? Is it a stiff upper lip thing, or do they really not give a shit? […]

Oh, btw, two other websites that seem a bit similar in concept to fetcheveryone.com: traineo.com and realbuzz.com. Not sure if you’ve seen them before or not, but just thought you might be interested!

Cheers Croila, I’ll check them out.

Stitches can be eased by slowing down, and stretching the side a little, deepen your breathing and.. umm.. yeah run through the pain.

Sorry no magic bullet for that one.

Call it running, not jogging, said running guru Jim Fixx. Before he died of a heart attack. (Most of your readers will be too young to remember.) Oh there’s nothing new under the sun.

Me, I wouldn’t do anything unless I enjoyed it. When I enjoyed running I ran like a bird. Hooked on the high. Then my knees got other ideas, and my running days are over.

Listen to your body. It always knows best. Don’t do anything because you feel you “should”. Walking is the most natural and easiest on the legs, but it has to be uphill to get that necessary cardio-vascular effect. Flat walking in a nice environment is lovely, though.

Comments are closed.