Do you feel like the Vicar of Dibley When Running? - Women's Running

Feel like the Vicar of Dibley on runs?

Author: Chris Macdonald

Read Time:   |  May 28, 2014

Feel like the Vicar of Dibley on runs?

Feel like the Vicar of Dibley on runs?

You know the score, you’re running but you feel more like Dawn French in the Vicar of Dibley than Paula Radcliffe.

You drag your feet and you feel dumpy, tired and fed up. Look around. Do you see hard, grey pavement or tall, concrete buildings that loom over you and stint your motivation? Or do you see wide, open fields, big, endless sky and vibrant, green colours? I know what makes me feel better. Just thinking about the latter gives me a positive vibe.

So channel your inner Paula and find a route that inspires you to move. I recently found one that is a joy to run down and that I can call ‘my route’.

I grew up in Yorkshire, or ‘Gods County’ as I prefer to call it. I am also lucky enough to now live in Cheshire. Both counties are rich in countryside. I was always told running would be bad for me. I was diagnosed with arthritis aged seven, so it is something that I never really considered. But last year I joined a gym and found that I thrived on the treadmill. When I returned to Yorkshire and didn’t have access to the gym I slapped on my trainers and took to the countryside instead.

Hidden love for running

Behind my mum’s house there is an old railway track that has been concreted over. It cuts through miles of green land. One thing I have learned is that you can run the same route 100 times over but it never looks the same. Whether it be a change in seasons or simply noticing something new each time, I always appreciate my surroundings. It’s calming and I genuinely enjoy taking in the world around me.

This is what kept me going when I felt like Frenchy was on my tail. I also found a similar track near my house in Cheshire. When I first started pounding the pavements I could only manage a mile to mile and half and I had to stop numerous times. I would be bent double panting like a dog in the sun and thinking about sitting on the sofa with a doughnut.

Move over Jennis

Six months down the line and would you believe it, I do five miles comfortably and when I get a good pace going I think ‘Jessica Ennis eat your heart out’. In reality I look like your average, novice runner – which is great in itself.

In all honesty I just love being outside and once you learn to love the surroundings you have access to (and everyone can find a nice place to run no matter where you live), running becomes a joy. The more you enjoy it the more you go out and eventually you find that suddenly, you are fitter.

So if you find you hate where you run take a look around. If you’re usual route is through towns and housing estates try something new and see where the road takes you. It might change your perception of the sport.

Kirsty Hewson, 23, is a district reporter at a local, weekly newspaper called the Biddulph Chronicle. She can be found tweeting @kirstyannhewson and blogs at The Great Sweet Retreat

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Chris Macdonald

Editor-at-Large, Women's Running

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