To replace my stolen Lulu Lemon pants I bought a replacement pair for the outrageous price of $118.00. Am I missing something or should these cost no more than about $35.00? They asked me if I would like the matching top for an additional $75.00 but I told them I’ve been mismatched all my life and I would find a suitable top in one of my drawers at home. The night before my first day of ‘jogging camp’ I found a blue Speedo top that is so versatile it’s for swimming and running. I swam in it once and didn’t like the way it floated around me and it’s been in the drawer ever since. I thought I’d see how I liked it as a jogging top so put it on and then a tracksuit jacket and a scarf.
I knew I had to be up at 5.30am so I set my alarm. But I have a problem where if I have an early start, despite setting my alarm I automatically wake an hour or so before I need to. I then lie there frustrated that I invested time in learning how to set the bloody alarm when my internal body clock wakes me well ahead of the alarm anyway.
At 5.50am I stepped out into the pitch black of night and hurried along to the oval where I would be meeting the running group. As I approached the oval I saw the runners all heading off in a big herd so panicking, I joined them wondering how I was going to run with a cashmere scarf tangled around my neck. I stayed at the back of the pack and asked a straggler, ‘Is this the training group for the Mini-Mos?’ And she said, ‘Wrong group. You’re group is over there’, as she pointed towards the grandstand at the oval.
So I found my group which was made up of shadowy figures and then a voice came from the darkness which said, ‘Now just take off your outer garments and we’ll get going’. A female voice said we could store our things in her car so I gave her my jacket and scarf and stood about shivering with cold.
Then the pack-leader’s voice said, ‘Let’s get going’, and he took off and everyone followed him and I became alarmed at the immediate cracking pace and wondered, as I had been promised the group caters for all levels, where the beginner’s group was. But alas, it seemed that just like one big happy family we were to share the experience as one.
I stuck to the back of the pack, bringing up the rear, and struggled to keep up so that in the darkness I didn’t lose the group. We were running through the suburb’s streets and we even ran past my house and I was so tempted to just slip through the front gate but then I wondered how I might retrieve my jacket and scarf from that woman’s car.
The pack-leader had a buzzer on his wrist and every time we’d run a kilometre the buzzer would go off and the group would stop for a minute’s rest. The problem was that I wouldn’t arrive at the stopping point until the full minute was up and then the guy would say, ‘Let’s go’, so we’d be off again with me robbed of my one-minute reprieve.
After the third stop I was beginning to see the light of day however Sydney was enveloped in a dense fog so if I didn’t keep up with the pack I wouldn’t be able to see where they had gone so I was in a world of pain and take it from me, Speedo tops you can swim and run in are just no good. They’re no good for swimming because they float around your stomach in an annoying way and they’re no good for running because there’s not even enough support for those of us who are well, flat-chested.
After the fourth stop I asked, ‘How many of these are we doing?’ and one of the guys said, ‘Six’, so for my first run in 30 years I was running 6kms at a speedy pace. Then the pack leader said we were to pick up the pace and we’d be stopping every 500mtrs but by now I was ready to decrease my pace and just couldn’t keep up so the gap between me and the pack widened.
One poor woman felt sorry for me so she fell back to run with me and wanted to chat. Have you ever tried to chat when you’re completely out of breath and feel like all of a sudden you’re an asthmatic? I did manage to ask her if she was also running because she has children at the school but she said, ‘Oh, I don’t have children’. Then I found out she’s all of 22! In the fog I just couldn’t see her. She told me she does marathons and half-marathons and will be running the New York Marathon this year. So where exactly is that Beginner’s Group I’d been promised?
At one point the trainer came over to me and said, ‘Just make sure you’re comfortable’. I said, ‘I’m not worried about now, I’m worried how comfortable I’ll be tomorrow’.
And when it was finally over and someone else with a gadget on his wrist announced we had run 6.8kms (4.22 miles) in 36 minutes, the conversation turned to talking about the marathons they’d run and the half-marathon that’s coming up and the one later this year where they’ll close the harbour bridge to traffic so you can run across it etc, I knew for sure that in terms of finding a group for beginners, I’d been duped.
But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t welcomed. They loved having a newbie in the group. And even though I was standing there doubled over and puce in the face with sweat dripping off my chin while the rest of them barely worked up a glean, they were very encouraging and said even though I hadn’t run since 1983 I was obviously very fit and, ‘You’ve done really well’ and then the pack leader said, ‘In fact, you’ve done incredibly well because this is the hardest training session we’ve had’.
What beginner’s luck!
The group meets every Tuesday and Wednesday morning at 6am from now until the race in about three weeks time. Just to survive that race I’m going to have to attend every training session.
It doesn’t bear thinking about.
Do dust off your Lulu Lemons and come and join me!
Now I have no recipe for you today because my quads are so sore I’m finding it difficult to be mobile but, a few days ago I had a birthday and a friend took me to The Boathouse and I rewarded myself with the biggest lunch option on the menu. And as you can see, someone else crashed the party.