Being over 30 and spending my working life sitting on my hind end, I’ve had to admit that I need to take up some form of exercise. (Sarah talks about her views on exercise here.)
As I’m spectacularly uncompetitive (except in pub quizzes), team sports and racing have never really appealed. But I came to running in a roundabout way.
(At this point, I should point out the blog Red Wine Runner, by Rhona, who is a proper runner.)
About 8 years ago, I took part in a team relay in the Edinburgh Marathon to raise money for charity. To my surprise, I really enjoyed it – there was a real community spirit, with the people of Edinburgh cheering the runners as they went past their houses.
So, for two or three years I took part in the marathon relay. (I should emphasise the relay part – I’ve never run anything like the length of a marathon.) But then they changed the route, which took it out of Edinburgh. It was a flatter, and hence faster, route, but the appeal had been lost for me.
So since then, it’s been pretty much a matter of trotting on a running machine at the gym, in an attempt to avoid taking on the proportions of Jabba the Hutt…
As has been universally noted, pounding away on a running machine is pretty boring. The machines have TVs showing music, news and sports channels, but these don’t hold any interest for me. (My views on rolling news channels are a rant for another day…)
Fortunately, salvation from tedium lies in my i-Pod. Over the years, I’ve managed to hone down a running playlist, filled with my favourite bouncy songs, which can propel me along. (This isn’t Mixology, but it’s as close as I’m probably going to get…)
This is the playlist in order, with the speed of the music building up as I go along.
1) Worried About Ray – The Hoosiers
2) Wuthering Heights – The Puppini Sisters
3) Panic – The Puppini Sisters
4) Sit Down – James
5) I Touch Myself – The Divinyls
6) Birdhouse in Your Soul – They Might Be Giants
7) Shine – Take That
8) Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve) – The Buzzcocks
At this point, it depends on how wiped out I am. If I can still go on for a bit, it’s Bad Romance. If I’m near death, it’s The Killers’ Human.
It’s not a particularly coherent list, although it does show my fondness for swing music and that I was a student in the 90’s.