Attempting 5K When You're Seriously Unfit...

Well this is going well. 

I got up at 5.45am this morning (oh the darkness!) to go to the gym. I productively laid out my Dri-Fit's the night before ready with every intention of working out the next day. 

I left the house as planned but 5 minutes into my walk the cheapo top I’d bought from Primark decided to ride up to my chin in escape. To be fair I can think of better places to be than wrapped around my gut at 6am so who could blame it? Whilst a punch up with the nylon ensued I could feel my bulging derrière getting colder and colder as it came into view for the entire population of Bethnal Green. 

Poor commuters have enough to deal with on a Monday morning without my fat lycra’d arse tainting their start to the week. 

I also didn’t wanna find myself on The Lad Bible next to the girl with the flesh coloured bottoms or the poor soul on the escalator who’s sanitary towel was visible through her transparent leggings, so hot footed it back home to change.

Then I made the mistake of sitting down on the sofa. 

In order for my early rise to not be an epic waste of time I decided to go for a run instead. In fact it was my first attempt at running since the days of the brutal bleep test at secondary school. Well, tell a lie, I did once run for a number 8 bus, missed it and continued sprinting past the bus stop in order to look like that was my intention all along - despite wearing leather boots, a trench coat and a fedora.

Anyway I thought I’d give the 5k Runner app a whizz. There’s a freebie version but I shelled out for the pro version for two reasons; firstly it allows you to listen to Spotify whilst some aggressive witch hollers at you to run and stop at intervals over your playlists. Basically it's given me the ability to make my own remix of Ed Sheeran songs:

Take me into your loving arrmmmsss, Kiss me under the ...RUN FOR THREE MINUTES... thousand starsss!

Secondly, I always think if I buy the pro version of anything I’m more likely to use it. Although try telling that to my premium period tracking app which according to the lack of data inputted I was last on the blob in 1997. 

I also forked out for a pantry organiser with the intention of keeping it up to date. That went out the window as I'm regularly found scraping around the depths of my kitchen cupboards stock checking my tea bag stash before scooting off to Tesco for the weekly shop. 

I’m fortunate enough to live on top of the beautiful 86 hectare Victoria Park. I’m very lucky as large parks are few & far between here, with dog shit infested square metres of grass usually qualifying as justifiable green space amongst the council estates and tower blocks.

In recent times gentrification has happened in East London, with the latest influx of new residents to the area seemingly all being middle class, Guardian reading lefties originally from the ’shires. 

It’s not all bad (...well aside the fact the traditional East End pubs are now ponsey gastro joints that you need to re-mortgage your house to eat or drink at) but this change means the park is now home to such pretentiousness as groups of Mummy and buggy power walkers, hipsters slack-lining and spontaneous ukulele jams.

Ya know the type of people that actually choose to eat mung beans and quinoa for fun & not from being a desperate dieting fatty like me? Yeah...that kind.  Skinny bitches.

Basically the joint is already full of fit-as-a-fiddle runners and I’m really conscious of looking out of place, courting other park users sniggers of “What-the-f*ck-is-that-Cockney-fat-cow-doing!?" 

I know that’s not the case and everyone has to start somewhere but I literally cannot run for one minute without turning letter box red and breathing like Darth Vader. 

A tad embarrassing when these beanpole Harriets and Barnabys are floating past effortlessly in their New Balances' on their 23rd lap. 

So I reluctantly toddled to the park and pressed play. The app started with a 5 minute walking warm up which was easy enough, then the 15 minute session of 1 minute runs and 1.5 minute walking intervals begun. 

The first few rounds I managed surprisingly effortlessly, but by the forth I was a hot mess, gasping for breath and in desperate need of water ...which of course I’d stupidly left in my fridge back home. 

By the end, the 1 minute runs felt like drawn out minutes of hell and the 1.5 minute recoup was over in a panting flash. 

The robotic voiceover calling the shots finally cut me some slack & told me to spend 5 minutes cooling down and that was it. Day one was complete. 

I think it actually took me longer to cajole myself into getting in the park and shaking the shyness than it did using the poxy thing.

I continued to walk around the park a bit longer as 20 minutes didn’t seem lengthy enough to qualify for a proper work out, plus by then I was feeling spritely and dead chuffed (& chaffed) with myself, which made me sail through an additional 3km loop around the boating lake no problem. 

Despite it being my first go, I was happy with my progress - if you could call it that.  

I must admit I was so intensively listening out for the app's commands that I completely forgot I was out in public and any self consciousness disappeared. 

Obviously it’s still very early days, but I’m hopeful the app won’t be joining my usual neglected pile of long forgotten bright ideas; the mixing decks of my wannabe DJ past, the 7 yoga matts of various thickness and colour, or the spray tanning machine which is currently collecting dust in my parents spare room. 

I like to think this time me & my 5k runner app are in it for the long haul. 

With my Lycra’d up arse and all.

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  1. good job with running 5k. i can't run at all even though i work out a lot. i just can't do it and it really bothers me.

  2. nice!