Running In Clothes

It’s a lovely day.

I’ve decided to take up running again.

The above two sentences could lead you to believe;

a) that the good weather has motivated me to look back to a time of fitness and health, trainers pounding, and talks of best times, wearing a fleece tied around my waist, pre-tena lady days and detox juices and

b) that running was an activity I regularly took part in for fitness, getting through ‘the wall’ and am now resurrecting this in a ‘Run Fat Boy Run’ thing so I can go around pinging my elasticated waist at every opportunity to prove that I could now fit a small chamber orchestra in there because of running, so, no need to charge the ipod.

Both of these assumptions are wrong.

I practised this with my sister at Christmas along the beach front at Exmouth (on the promenade no less) and enjoyed it. I have decided to just start running about places, like when as a kid you ran for no reason whatsoever or to get home in time for afternoon telly. In normal clothes my sister and I said ‘Race you to that lamp post’ and just did. Both families of children (hers are grown adults, mine teenagers) were proud and it brought the families together in a new way of bonding (we felt). So overwhelmingly proud of us were they that they felt unable to show their pride in their mothers and pretended sharp disapproval by walking away shaking their heads and muttering ‘Oh for God’s sake’. One of my nieces even got her boyfriend to quickly get the car and when we came back they’d gone – we thought, to make a start on our Mother’s Day cards and Pride of Britain Entry forms. Yes definitely that.

When I was a child I had no running shoes or lycra – it was all bri-nylon bell bottoms and tank tops. Running was limited by chafe/fire ratios building up as we got faster. In the 1970’s, stories abounded of spontaneous combustion (‘and all they found was one smoking slipper and a greasy patch’ – Ireland’s Own circa 1975) often they blamed people drinking brandy but no one has investigated that these incidences were greatly reduced after Brentford Nylons went into liquidation – Alan ‘Fluff’ Freeman has alot to answer for. My sister and I ran up and down a few times (I won – she won’t read this so just bear that in mind I will always say I won) I had my sensible blue district nurse coat (Nerys Hughes/Nurse Gladys Emmanuel) and that served me fine, a sturdy coat where no one can see you bounce.

So I’m just going to run about places, start off walking and then just start running making full use of the space around my arms and legs (‘use the whole page’). I might vary it a bit – do some grown up 1970’s woman running for a bus – all arms and handbags, gather speed into my bionic woman impression, I might intersperse a skip as well and if it’s a really good day some pretend horseriding. I haven’t done that for a good while though so I’m a bit wary, because when I was young you could also pretend to whip the horse as you rode, what if I do that now? Will I get reported to the ‘pretend’ RSPCA? If nice people think I’m late for trains or buses and stop to give me a lift, I might accept (using my axe murderer antennae) and get lifts to bus stops and confound them by getting out and running back the other way. For my cool down I will tiptoe behind doorways and large municipal bins a la Pink Panther.

Will this start a trend? Will there be a TV Programme on the Discovery Channel starring Robson Green called Running in Clothes? Will there be little feature slots on The One Show in the lead up to next Sport Relief? Comedians taking it up? Surely David Walliams would rather do some running about flapping his hands along The Broadway in Woking next time outside the Diamond Kebab shop? Really this could go global, boot camps and everything (I invented them – did some walking about a lot in Clarks once my Mum made me demonstrate my narrow feet)

I think so, but if it does, remember it was my idea because when I invented ‘Being all Bendy’ someone else got the credit for it and people started calling it ‘Yoga’, and after that – “Going up The Rec On Your Bike”? – apparently called ‘Mountain Biking’ now.

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