Everybody Needs a Montage

I’ve had my failures. Most of them, with running so far, have been individual screwups. Bad runs, bad shoes, that kind of thing. But at the moment, I’m facing a larger failure. I’ve repeatedly failed to lose weight since I started running, but recently — the last year or so — I’ve been actively putting weight on.

For a few different reasons, I’ve not been running as often. I did nip out for a bit of a jog/walk last weekend, and I’ve cycled to work a few times recently, but it feels like I’ve just, well — lost it a bit.

I guess this happens with every hobby or pasttime, doesn’t it? Sometimes, there’s just a loss of interest, a lack of energy.

The weight and the lack of running, I think, are related. It’s not so much that the lack of running is causing me to put on weight, as the other way around — I’ve put on weight, so I feel less comfortable running. Especially in summer, where you don’t really want to dress up in a nice stomach-disguising outer layer, and it’s not dark, so everyone can see you.

I feel a bit paranoid about running at the moment, to be honest.

And I feel a bit guilty, too. I’m a runner. Not only am I a runner, but I’m also very proud to be a part of the team for a product that helps get people running. So not getting out and running makes me feel pretty shabby, frankly.

But of course, that doesn’t help.

What really brought this home was the email reminder that there’s only about eleven weeks to go to the Bristol Half Marathon. And I think I’m a slower runner right now, not to mention a flabbier runner, than I was when I did it last year, or when I did the Bath Half earlier on this year.

Eleven weeks.

Of course, there’s an image in my head of me suddenly turning my current lax ways around, starting to spring out of bed at 6am, going for an hour-long jog along the Portway, coming back to breakfast on a glassful of carrot juice before cycling to work the long way round, maybe via Clevedon. Then a full day’s work, including nipping out for a couple of hours at a gym instead of having lunch. Finish off my day with a hearty meal of fish and wholegrain rice, then maybe watch a motivational film before my newly-imposed 9pm bedtime.

And repeat without fail for eleven weeks. Yes, well, it’s a mental montage, not a reality. I’ve never had a single day that healthy in my entire life, of course. What I should do, really, is try to turn things around gradually and sensibly, one day at a time, and just deal with the half marathon when it comes along. See how I’m feeling.

But it seems quite hard to even make that small start.

What do you do when you’re in this kind of mood? Any other runners out there who’ve been through this? Any tips for going from putting on the pounds to taking them off? All advice gratefully received…