I recently turned 36, and don't get me wrong - I adore my thirties, but tipping the scales closer to forty, I looked over my soft curves with an extra portion of arse, and thought - It's now or never. My twenties were a ball of confusion, random sex, and insecurities, so I wouldn't want them back for love or money, but, I was a great deal slimmer.
My personal approach to running is only to do it if someone's chasing you, but many are much more driven, and even the intense heat, potential for sweat-soaked clothing and sunburnt shoulders isn't enough to keep them away. While some enjoy summer runs and all they entail, many do it for a good cause - like organised runs in aid of different charities.
1. If you're doing it right you will look like crap: If you go for a run and come back with a healthy sheen and a big smile you need to turn your ass round and do it all again. If have been looking after small children and your clothes and hair remain immaculate you have not been looking after them properly.
"The arms have got to pump, the knees have got to come up high," howled Steve Cram, gorging the lip-mic as he bellowed Mo Farah into history on the final straight of the 10,000 metres late last summer. It was a remarkable night for British sport. It also left many of us pondering what it would be like to take part in a genuine distance event.
Upon discovering that I couldn't walk up the stairs without having to have a lie down, I decided that it was time to face my ultimate fear. Exercise. I got up early, planned a route for a run and hunted through my wardrobe for suitable. I found an enormous sail of a T-shirt, leggings and a pair of Topshop boots (the closest footwear to trainers that I own).
I eat well, keep the unhealthy stuff to a minimum and exercise regularly. In fact, I'll say with confidence that I run at least three or four times a week, covering a couple of 5km runs during the week and longer ones at the weekends, when time permits. Therefore, as a dedicated runner, a recent study caught my attention, claiming that joggers live on average six years longer than non-joggers.
Whether you're writing an essay, editing a novel, or just cleaning the flat, procrastination is always sure to rear its ugly head. Procrastination occupies the middle ground between work and play, but doesn't really count as either. Like watching an Adam Sandler film, you've got to work hard to pretend you enjoy procrastination.
There may well never be another summer of sport quite like 2012. Yet every summer there is the potential for sport to excite and infuriate in near equal measure. The Lions down under, the Ashes over here, Murray seeking to match his victory in New York with a home Grand Slam at Wimbledon. All this and more are socially constructed, read these books not to distract from their entertainment but to inform and enrich.
Running is more than just completing a race; it is the solution to many of life's problems. You always feel better in yourself after a run, with greater clarity and a more positive perspective. It keeps you in shape and involves very little kit. Two to three pairs of fitted running shoes a year equates to it costing less than a £1 per day, which in the current climate a cost effective way to stay in shape.
People run for all kinds of reasons: to raise money for good causes, to get fit and healthy, to get away from the rest of the world, and sometimes just to prove to themselves they can. A bomb designed to wreak havoc and take lives is never justifiable; to detonate one at the heart of an event where people have come together for the sheer joy of running seems most especially cruel. Running is often a solitary sport, but if there is any positive to be gained from this week's events, it is the way not only a city came together, but an entire country. People united in one goal: to find those responsible.