1. Having barely exercised in the past ten years, and certainly not exercised regularly, am I a phony for starting up again now?
2. How long am I going to keep this up, and how much would I hate myself if I stopped? Only four weeks so far. Maybe I shouldn’t even be telling anyone.
3. I’m sure I breathe very loudly after the first 500 metres. I wonder if the people I pass as I run notice this and remark on it to their housemates when they get home. “This guy just ran past me, he was the loudest breather EVER, my God, ridiculous.”
4. Days spent in front of the computer screen used to pass with little notice for my limbs. Now they sit uneasily about the chair, like they’re suddenly aware that they could be doing something else. I may never again feel completely comfortable with 40 hours a week of office work (or 40 hours a week of lazing around on the Internet at home).
5. There must be a chance that my heart, which I have stuffed with saturated fats and rarely pushed beyond resting rate for years, will fold in on itself — probably when I am as far from any other human as possible.
6. I should really eat better.
7. Being forced to go running by seniors in high school was horrible, and now I’m an adult who is doing it by choice. I have become both a prefect and a third form runt. (Mind you, lots of things that were horrible about high school — socialising, looking in the mirror, talking — are a lot more comfortable now.)
8. If this goes on, I might become a Running Guy who could be caricatured by his friends as someone who goes running and talks about running and recommends other people go running.
9. I am probably going to roll my ankle at some point.
10. TJ told me all those years ago about running technique – straight neck, relaxed limbs — and Ed gave me the tip of looking out in front of me rather than focusing on where my feet fall. I try to do these things right, but how many hundreds of other things am I doing wrong?
11. Is everyone else’s nose as blocked up and demanding as mine? It had better not be like this in summer.
12. What about my stretches? I could look up proper pre-exercise stretches. I’m going to do that now.
13. Wow, some people don’t even stretch at all. I have to figure out what works best for me. That means quite a lot more running, and paying attention to various aspects of my running. I hope my brain gets better at figuring out what’s going on around my body.
14. Everyone who reads this has come to the end and decided that I am indeed a phony, and the word ‘phony’ will be burned into my brain the next time I go running, rattling in my head with every stride.