The Boredom of the Short Distance Runner

Everyone seems to be running these days. You have to look at least twice before you cross the road or risk getting knocked over by someone in lycra, bearing down on you and panting. It’s funny how they all have this pained expression of their faces, as though they’d much rather be at home with a big bar of chocolate.

So I ask myself why I’ve suddenly decided to join them. I put it down to temporary insanity. When I mentioned today that I did not see myself as someone who would ever be passionately committed to this (I downloaded an app and went out three times last week) I was told to hang in there. It’s an acquired taste. Just give it a few months and you’ll love it.

I’m suspicious of things that are an acquired taste. When my mother went through menopause, she became obsessed with green olives. Obsessed in a junkie-needs-a-fix-and-will-purses-from-old-ladies-to-get-it kind of way. But I never liked them. But she kept pushing them on me. ‘Hang in there. It’s an acquired taste. You’ll learn to love them.’


It’s been twenty years. (Where did that time go?!) I still don’t really like them. But I can eat them. Although to be honest, I could also do that before. They’re only olives, for god’s sake. It’s not as though they’re a miracle eating-these-every-day-will-prevent-cancer/heart disease food. Then I could see the point of acquiring a taste for them.

Is that what running will be like? I’ll do it for twenty years and still not enjoy it?

I’ve given myself two months to learn to run 5km. I signed up for something, so I have to learn.

I’m considering taking bets against myself.

I’d much rather sit in the park with a good park than pant my way through it.

Maybe I’ll just have an olive instead.



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