a dog”. What would be better than man”s best friend to accompany us on our new routine? We go on the run anyway, it is frankly irresponsible for us not to get a dog – and would make me cleaning up any turds Hitch leaves on the path that much more excusable for me if we can blame it on the dog.
Now forget about all the responsibility that owning a dog brings; the walks, the feeding, the picking up dog shit, the vet bills, the silly games, the picking up of more dog shit. Let”s get down to the really important stuff:
Which breed of dog?
Finlay”s Choice – Pug
My god why would you buy any other dog? These cute little bastards not only look the business but are full of personality, well at least all those pug gifs I”ve seen on Tumblr have led me to believe they are.
Would also consider: Golden Retriever or Black Labrador.
Hitch”s Choice –
I don”t know what dog breeds are, but I”d like my dog to be happy, good at barking – but never loud – and a good listener. It wouldn”t go a miss to have a dog who shares the same humour as me – it will be spending a lot of time in my flat listening to me play guitar and “entertaining” it, so it would be brilliant if it enjoys this kind of lifestyle, as well as the occasional running.
That or the dulux dog.
What would we name it?
Finlay”s Name of Choice – Dr Leonard McCoy or Bones for short.
Star Trek joke aside I have always loved the idea of calling a dog Bones. Plus if his career as running sidekick falls through he could always get a new gig as a dog detective.
Hitch”s Name of Choice –
I can”t decide. If it”s a boy, I”m gonna call it Spankz. If it”s a girl dog, I”m still gonna call it spankz. I don”t know, but the name just feels right. Other possibilities: Tony, Dogboy, Tina, Gerbil or flufft.
I”m not very good with names, so I will probably change it on the fly. Poor thing will get very confused.
Today”s track had to be Florence and the Machine – Dog Days Are Over. It is a great track for near the start of a run plus it both mentions running and has dog in the title. Subscribe to the playlist
1) Be Visible – essential when you are starting to run, is that you only need to run when you can be seen. This is an old tip I picked up from Rugby drills as a schoolboy, either cutting corners on a route when too far away from a member of staff, or else walking entirely when they are facing the other way. For us, this key is essential – you don”t have to run if no-one is looking, but keeping up appearances when you are. Every day while on our usual route, we have to pass an office with wide windows onto the park, directly in front of our path – and without fail we perform our role to them as two machines of excercise, glorious bastion”s of determination and sweat. They must think we are so fucking cool.
*I have just realised that those of them with better eyesight might see us slacking on the other side of the park. I think this makes that entry null and void.
2) Be Bold – when attempting to appear to be running, there are a number of things one can do. Lift up the knees when you want to appear, groan, and throw water onto yourself as you pass (famous sporty types do this all the times as it makes them look sweaty).
3) Never hold hands – it is difficult to run when holding hands, we learnt this the hard way.
4) Always walk when crossing a road – as it is essential to hold hands when crossing, rule 3 indicates that running across the road is impossible. Heed this advice.
5) Encouragement – having a partner to run with means you are always in competition with each other. Never let them know how much you hate them by keeping their morale high; always make sure you encourage them more than they encourage you,
so that they are in your blood debt (useful later on)
6) Strap up – wearing the right equipment is essential, but top of this list has to be making sure your genitals are safe, and adequately exaggerated when running. No-one likes to watch a fat sweaty man gallop towards them if they have a visibly tiny pecker. No-one. If anything, you have a duty to your fellow social passengers to pick a favourite phallic vegetable and strap it to your leg with a temporary waterproof adhesive.
7) Never admit defeat – it isn”t a problem to lose, as much as it doesn”t matter if you win.
8) Think – the hardest aspect of running is the mental strength. When concentrating on your physical performance, it is easy to let your – but this dulls the mind, even if it makes time go faster. As such, you need to find a balance between this repetetive monotony that makes time pass quickly, and keeping yourself occupied. If you keep one mantra in your head, over and over again, you can get to the sort of tantric essence of running that keeps you going, but with an entertaining phrase, your boredom can be sated. Phrases I like to include are: “I don”t want to do this”, “Stop Stop Stop Stop” and “don”t let that courgette slide down your leg” repeated over and over in your head
9) Pace – running too fast is a pain, but running too slow does no-one any favours. Knowing how fast you should be travelling is essential for a good workout and one has to look to the animal kingdom for guidance – you want to be going faster than a snail”s pace for instance, but never as fast as a hare as that will wear you down, and as we know from the fable, will cause you to get cocky and sleep somewhere instead of racing and then the bastard tortoise might snatch victory from under your arrogant rabbity nose. Importantly, find the right pace for you, and stick to it – we tend to run at a dolphin”s pace (if the dolphin was trying to run on land) and that seems to motivate us adequately.
10) Dealing with police – a tough one to Giocare è davvero semplice, dovrai aprire un Conto Gioco, scegliere il Bonus Benvenuto giochi di Abilità e cominciare a giocare subito con il card games preferito. get right. Legally, there are certain things you can and can”t do – for example, it is illegal to wave at a policeman. Terrorist groups are known to try and work their magic on authority figures in this way, and as such police are apt to clamp down on unnecessary greetings and other informal blather while running past. Ignore police as much as you can, smiling at most, unless they talk to you first – in which case, have an official response prepared, things like “lovely day officer”, “morning constable” and “my, that is a lovely dress m”am” (as in “h”am”)
11) Running Gear – wearing the right things is so important. Running shoes are an essential, and those who need it should consider wearing comfortable sports bras where necessary – Finlay and I made the mistake in our first week of going into the wild ill equipped, wearing trainers and a sort of crotchless lingerie which, although extremely flattering to our Rubenesque frames, were not appropriate for the exercise in question – we won”t be making that mistake two weeks in a row (again)! Cold too!
12) Runner Etiquette – don”t try to stop and talk with other runners, this disrupts people”s rhythm, instead you can communicate using a sort of rudimentary morse code of feet and a series of grunting sounds which are capable of basic phrases such as “can you pass me some water” but can be used all the way up to “what do you think of Roman Polanski”s latest Neo-Noir documentary?”. When not running, it is customary before and after every run to present a gift to your running partner. They don”t have to be expensive, probably within the £25 to £200 price range, but they cannot be functional and must be entirely unneccessary and be tagged in your own mind”s eye as “complete tat”. Anything useful is considered a slight against their professional ability to run, and is absolutely verboden. Why not give them a nice hat?
13) Dogs – whether a tiny yapper, or a 300 pound trained killer, these animals make excellent forms of transport if you get exhausted mid run, and double up as boot scrapers. Essential purchase – remember, dogs aren”t only for Christmas, they are also for running.
14) People who run together, blog together – start a blog and hide narky passive aggressive comments throughout, and then check to see if your partner actually reads the other half of the blog. You”d be amazed the shit you can say without them realising.
15) Routine – getting into a regular routine is important, so when you arrive together, make sure you use the same jokes when you meet (“nice to RUN into you again”, “fancy seeing you here rapper RUN DMC”, “hey, look over there [pointing and then running away quickly]”) as well as while you are running together ([run too fast so you get ahead and when in ear shot of a policeman shout] “help me, he”s coming to get me!” LOL), as well as keeping everything else the same – stretching, jog distance, stretch-down, showers, post-run kissing etc.
16) Never give up – unless you have to, or are bored or whatever.
17) Walk before you can run – this is perhaps the most obvious problem one has to overcome when you start running. If you don”t know how to walk, then running is supremely difficult. Even then, the step up takes a lot of hard work and practice – which you can do at home thanks to this excellent and authentic running simulator which takes you through the basics, called “QWOP” – it”s mighty fun too.
Hitch”s Mantra: You are always watching yourself. Never Stop Running.
Hitch”s guide on how to run is absolutely spot on this week folks so follow all of those tips to the letter.
For the song of the week this week it was pretty essential that you could imagine yourself in a learning to run montage whilst listening to it. Deliberately avoiding the cliches of the montage scene I decided to go for Safety Dance by Men Without Hats. Plus look at that video.
You can keep up with the Spotify playlist as ever .
We continue to run for our own enjoyment but if you fancy supporting us and a very good charity you can find our Just Giving page here. We will happily perform challenges for money. Both because we want to make it interesting and we are of course performing monkeys. If you missed last week”s blog check it out for more information on our charity attempt.
Having run for three weeks we have finally become gods. As a result of this ascension to higher beings we have decided to change the world. We will be achieving this by setting up a Just Giving page and running some more. This plan requires the generosity of you fine readers. We will continue running regardless of donations but we would encourage you to donate by offering the chance to set us challenges. These challenges can be almost anything, with in reason, but obviously running based. Feel free to give us new routes to run, set us new goals or get us to do something silly (Hitch has mentioned clown make up). Anyway any amount you can give will be more than welcome and £20 will get you the chance to set us a challenge.
The charity we have chosen is The Hunger Project. A mighty fine charity that aims to end world hunger, which seems like a damn good idea to me. For more information check out their website here.
you”ll be dying to know where to go to donate. Well our Just Giving is right here. Please check it out and donate if you can afford it.
This week”s song for the playlist is Plan B”s Ill Manors, not for any reason other than Hitch has was “singing” it on our most recent run. It”s a damn good tune, especially when being serenaded by it whilst running up Arthur”s Seat.
As ever you can subscribe to our Spotify You could still enroll in a health affordable-health.info plan anytime before March 31st, 2014. playlist
A Message From Hitch
I thought I”d just chip in here and say my peace (piece?). Here, you don”t have to give us money – frankly we don”t care. We are gonna run a million miles probably, we”re that good, and that
god damned committed to the cause – and I don”t even know what the cause was for sure. I”ve not even bothered to read Finlay”s bit of the post. However, assuming he went with my recommendations for what charity I wanted us to help out, those girls/women are gonna need our help – and you need to take out a credit card and help them out of their habit(s). Some of them, sure it”s not money they need, but even so the others – they need you, and most importantly, the vicarage needs them too. Go on, give a little, and help them to make amends. We”ll be back to normal service next week, and who knows, if we raise enough – maybe those girls can get back to normal service next week too.
Total Distance Travelled: 48.1 km.
This would take us roughly to somewhere like Stow, near Galashiels. According to wikipedia, Stow has a population of 620 (622 if you added us). There is a church there we could probably visit.
The first week went by and our first five runs seemed to go pretty well. Then the pain set in. Sitting down and standing up were all of a sudden problematic. My calves were sore. My thighs were sore. My knees were sore. It may actually be easier to express this in a diagram:
So yeah I was sore.
We”ve started to stretch.
Track of the week this week is music to stretch to. Avoid our pain and stretch to the theme from The Lost Boys; Cry Little Sister because who doesn”t want to be reminded of one of the best things to come out of the 80s on a daily basis. Just try it. Stretch to an 80s power ballad and after the initial bouts of hysterical laughter you will know it”s exactly the right thing to do. Find it in the Spotify . The playlist will build up over time with songs for stretching and warm up at the start moving into running and warm down tunes.
A Hitch In Time Saves Nine
Limbero. Noun: That blank space of time between contemplating stretching a particular muscle but thinking better of it, and the point at which you work out whether you should have stretched it or not. It”s week two of our epic running slog, and we”ve been living in that gap of not knowing for far too long, and we have just reached the other end. And the correct answer was yes – we should have stretched.
I don”t know what it is about stretching. I can”t help but feel that stretching isn”t cool, as it seems a perfectly logical thing to do, we just don”t want to do it. No one loses but you, but still we skipped it. I mean, you wouldn”t see the Fonz stretching out before giving people the thumb (an odd sexual technique, but him being so cool I reckon he could get away with it) would you? You never see the preparation
of anything. Even in the arts, Neil Buchanan”s never truly bothered with the fiddly first base layer of paint. We know now that not only did Art Attack have to do all the hard graft, but that even Neil Buchanan would have probably had to limber up before hand (probably for insurance reasons, as well as good performance technique). You can imagine him, can”t you, stretching his mouth and elongating his vowels. “Ba Ba Ba Bii Bii Bii Boo Boo Boo Bum Bum, Bumptaphillion. Bumptaphillion. The Butter is Bruised on the buttocks of the botty” I mean, I could go on.
“Ta Ta Ti Ti Ti (laughs) To To To Tum Tum Tum, Tumptaphillion, Tumptaphillion. The Tutter is Truised on the Tuttocks of the Tot-” Neil Slips on some acrylic paint, and his broken body finishes off a portrait as the mouth of a face. The head laughs.
Anyway, pain. All I can see is pain. The aches of my calves, the tightening of the knees, the dull thudding boredom of the flat of my foot – are nothing to the pain in my heart (not the breathing pain I got the first few days, more a metaphorical lament for a time when I didn”t run). I don”t think I even know what love is any more, as nothing can distract me from the aching and want to rest my legs. But still, we run. (but have to sort of hobble up stairs and down)
In an effort to counter this pain, we”ve learnt to stretch, though Finlay keeps on stretching his arms which I don”t think really helps anything – even though it looks spot on. We”ve settled on three stretches. The first, is the one where you try to kick your bum slowly with your heel and nearly fall over while trying to keep your balance and hold it. No one has told us professionally why we should do this, but I have assumed this is a good one as I remember it from school. Secondly, we do a step to the front and put pressure on one leg, stretching the back of it. The third one is what I call “opening the gate” but what other people may prefer to call “flash your genitals, and relax” in which you lift your knee, tilt it to the side (and if one was naked, presenting ones genitals to the judges) before placing the foot back onto the floor. This combination ensures that are legs are relatively unpainful.
We haven”t yet resigned ourselves to the embarrassment of public stretching, but soon we too will join the throng of runners up and down the land who stand by traffic lights, bouncing and grabbing, twisting and holding in various configurations of body while contending with the eyes of strangers. These eyes, often from car windows, point with jealousy at these brave exercisers and suspend accusatory against a lifestyle they wish they had the will to achieve, as if the limbering is a reminder of every burger, every chip and every collapsed evening in front of telly that has seen failure succeed in their lives, a taunt against their lust for lazyness. But we are thin people now, and when we look upon these souls, it is not out of fear, or anger, but simply to cheat and find out what stretches we should be doing without asking anyone.
Hitch signing out.
Hitch”s Mantra of the week: Pain is but the annoying sibling to success.
a tough decision and one which was influenced by selfish need than anything more virtuous – after all, being a fat person has its benefits, but it just isn”t viable in the long term . The reasons for being a thin person are plentiful – it’s cheaper for a start; one only need buy half as much food, although if you live twice as long this argument could wear thin. Health aside, it”s more fun too, both sexually (what with all the extra kissing you can do without breaking sweat) and most importantly of all when playing board games like Cluedo one isn”t obligated to play as the fat character. Also, playing video games and eating pizza is a far less seedy activity for a thin person, and so being
able to do this without looking like a poorly cast extra in the next cyber-terrorist film will do our confidence the world of good.
So this, our inspirablog (a conflation for “inspirational and educational running blog”) will act as a means to share our trials and tribulations, while also being a touchstone for keeping us fit, and making sure we are in the right direction. As such, it”s going to be an odd combination of advice, tips, experience, and other less traditional elements. For example, a regular feature will be “Hitch”s Mantra Of the Week”.
Hitch”s Mantra of the week: “Live with the body you want, not the body you have.
As well as this, we will have pictures, videos, and an ever growing playlist of music to run to which you are welcome to join in with. If you have enjoyed reading this make sure you follow us on twitter for various running based “banter” and if we get our act together we might think about setting up a charity page or something. This is Hitch, signing off! Niven Let Die The decision to start running was a pretty easy one to make. It was not a New Year’s resolution or based on the need to train for a half marathon or whatever. I just fancied giving being healthy a shot. Hitch and I had a conversation about it in early January and we have been running ever since. This blog will be here to give us a place to chat about our experiences and share our thoughts on running. First thought: sore legs. I will be introducing a song a week building up a running playlist on Spotify, .
Not being particularly familiar with the usual dance music that accompanies work out music I have chosen Daft Punk Is Playing at My House by LCD Soundsystem as the first song on the playlist. In my opinion it works perfectly as a warm up song maybe even as a song to run to thanks to that base line. If you have any suggestions for future song sound off in the comments below. Total Distance Travelled: 5.4km (first run). Running this distance