I Hate Running

I hate running. Really.

It hurts. I’ll occasionally run 10k, usually hate it, hurt myself and not run again for 3 months.

I need help. I need someone who can help me learn to run. And keep going when every part of your mind and body is screaming ‘stop, for fucks sake’

 Rebecca (Becs) Gentry

Rebecca (Becs) Gentry

Don’t be deceived by the disarming smile. The Speed Project is not an ordinary race. She is not an ordinary runner.

I actually email Becs and tell her that I am mega fit (for my age) but I need help running. How she must have laughed after our first run. I nearly die, that horrible, dry mouthed, wobbly legged, nauseous sort of death. Like sea sickness when you cant get off the boat, no Sir, not yet, just a few km’s to go.

I hate my first run. And the second, third, fourth , fifth........but I keep going back. It’s started. The stubborn determination has kicked in. I need to remember these little fights next April. And then, progress. With familiarity comes speed, pacing, stamina. She makes me run harder, faster, steeper, longer.

September. I am running 30k+ a week - usually 3x 10k or similar. I can knock off 10k in 45 mins which seems like progress - it used to take me an hour. I’ve started enjoying it a bit, racing the tube home. It’s faster.

I have to run a half marathon in October. So I do, the Thames Half. It’s cold, wet, early and unfamiliar. Friends and family offered to cheer me on, but, there’ll be none of that at the North Pole, so may as well get used to it.

I set off near the front - a mistake - far from being too quick too soon, its too slow and I am balked a lot through the town section. Then the towpath -narrow mostly, makes passing hard, its a flat course but the path is bumpy, undulating. 10k clicks by, no problem been here before. All’s going well, same again and a few more for luck. 15k. Rock solid. I’ll put some music on now. I know there is no way on this earth I am not going to do this. 18k. My previous distance ‘record’ comes and goes. I want to go faster but my legs won’t move quicker now.

Joe Marthon.jpg


1hr 42mins. Not bad. This one’s for Lola.

Then I go home and have lunch with the kids.

And on Monday, it hurts.