Earlier this week, The Guardian started a new running blog. We are promised plenty of regular articles covering different aspects of running, with something for everyone regardless of whether you’re a once-a-week park plodder or a lunatic ultra runner. So far, so good. The blog is to be headed up by Adharanand Finn, author of Running With the Kenyans, which was shortlisted for the William Hill sports book of the year prize in 2012 (it says here). I haven’t yet read his book, but I’ve read numerous of his running related articles in The Guardian and I very much enjoy his stuff.
The announcement of the blog was greeted with much enthusiasm (and predictable shameless plugging of other blogs, a practice I do not agree with – which may go some way to explaining the pathetic viewing figures for this site). At first I thought, “great, this is actually going to be articles about running, subsequently discussed below the line by runners”. Ha-ha. What an idiot I am. Things returned to normal following the publication of the very first proper post, a piece about why we love to run by Adharanand Finn (who I will be referring to as ‘AF’ from now on). It has so far attracted almost 700 comments.
At this point, I was going to paste a selection of those comments in this post, but do you know what? I can’t be arsed and there’s ultimately no point. You already know what’s there. An never ending stream back and forth between people that like running and people that don’t. People who accuse runners of being smug and people denying it (whilst being smug). Runners who know precisely what is best for you and other runners who are only too happy to correct the previous commenter and confirm that, actually, this is what’s best for you. Just about the whole spectrum is represented. There’s even a lady who runs four miles around her local park in her wellies because “they offer good ankle support”. The mind boggles. Anyway, I’m glad to report that as ever in these situations, if you can sift through all the garbage handily positioned at each extreme, there’s a lot of good sense to be found in the middle. And hopefully the articles themselves will be up to scratch as well. Check it out here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/the-running-blog
Enough about all that, what about me? Surely that’s more important? You’re right, yes. It is more important. And interesting. And good for you. In fact “studies have shown” that reading this blog will add a minimum of fifty years to your life expectancy, an extra inch of girth for the gents and an additional four cup sizes for the ladies. I’ve been steadily increasing my mileage, to the point where I’m now finally starting to hit forty mile weeks on a regular basis. Still not exactly pulling up trees, but things are going well. Yesterday I knocked four minutes off my best time on a regular six mile route. That’s great, but although I was well pleased, I’m not getting carried away with times. It’s still about putting in more miles and more time on my feet for the foreseeable future.
The other big thing that’s happened recently is my changing diet. I’ve now pretty much cut out meat and dairy, although I’m steadfastly refusing to turn vegetarian. I’ve just read Scott Jurek’s ‘Eat and Run’, which is an inspirational book and worthy of a separate post. It’s certainly been an interesting few weeks, a bit hit and miss at times (TOFU? SERIOUSLY?), but I’ll bore you with it all soon.
Lot of fuss about this horse meat thing in the media. I’d be the first to admit that chowing down on old Dobbin doesn’t particularly appeal, but there’s an interesting difference in how people in this country perceive horses as opposed to, say, cows. Horses: noble, intelligent, beautiful. Cows: shit encrusted burgers in less convenient form. I do find it a bit strange that we should be squeamish about killing and eating horses but are quite happy to drink the lactate of cows, but what can you do? A half arsed blog about running written by a clot is probably not the place to start a discussion on the topic of human idiosyncrasies.
But it wasn’t always this way. There was a time when people would happily queue up for a taste of horse flesh, as the picture above (from 1947) shows. Granted, given that rationing was in full force and people would therefore have been more or less happy to eat each other, the circumstances are very different. But still, makes you think, eh?
No. Me neither.