Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Grr argh! A new challenge

"Look! There's a ready made perimeter we can defend"

"We can pick them off one by one from that vantage point up there"

These are just 2 of the things I've said to husband recently. What am I talking about?  the zombie apocalypse, of course.

You see, if we're going to be overrun by hordes of the undead then I want to be prepared and that means, as a bare minimum, I want to have picked out a safe haven we can head to in order to reduce the risk of us becoming zombie fodder.

Except, I realised the other day there's a flaw in my plan. There's no point in having a zombie apocalypse action plan if I can't actually evade them in the first place. After all, it's highly unlikely that when a plague of the undead begins, we'll all have time to leisurely troop to our cars and make our escape. What if I'm in town with the boys in the double pushchair? How am I going to keep us all alive then?

It pains me to say this but the answer is I have to be able to run, potentially at speed, potentially carrying the extra weight of the boys, and without getting a stitch or collapsing. Crap.

I have what is described in healthy living quizzes in magazines as a "sedentary lifestyle". I don't exercise at all and although I'm not averse to starting some form of exercise, I find it hard to figure out when I will fit some in and to motivate myself to get started.

So it's time to be honest with myself. I'm unfit. I'm severely lacking in both stamina and endurance, and without wanting to sound overly dramatic, I'm setting a bad example to my children and I'm ultimately putting my health at risk.

Running is the last thing I want to start doing. I find the whole idea of it boring and uninspiring and I just don't get why so many people are so "into it". But, I'd rather run than have to sacrifice myself to the undead so the rest of my family can make their escape because I'm slowing them down.

That's why I've decided to set myself a fitness challenge and for me, it really will be a challenge.

For the next 9 weeks, I will be following the Couch to 5k plan devised by the NHS (or, as I've "affectionately" named it; the Grr Argh! Challenge). The idea behind this running plan is to get people off the settee and help them build up to running a distance of 5k (or for 30 minutes).

The plan is much less daunting than a full-on running programme because (1) it starts off by alternating short bursts of running with longer periods of walking (2) it's initially only for 25 minutes and (3) you only have to run 3 times a week. It's also a big plus that I don't need any special equipment (apart from a decent pair of trainers) and it doesn't cost anything.

I'll be posting a weekly update every Sunday to let you all know how I've been getting on.

Wish me luck.

Grr Argh!


MargotBarbara said...

Hurrah!!! This is an awesome challenge. As a runner myself, I can safely say that it's the fastest way to get fit that I've tried and I went from barely being able to move at all to regularly running 5k, which isn't far once you get cracking, but feels as long as a marathon when you're starting out. Although you'll feel really horrible to start with, you'll also notice really quickly that you're improving which should spur you on.

There is nothing like a zombie apocalypse to get you started - and running does feel useful as an exercise, like if you have to run for the bus or a train, or after your endlessly energetic kids!

And one final tip: Get a great running bra. Seriously - makes a HUGE difference. Mine was quite expensive but is worth every penny.

GOOD LUCK!!! xxxx

Clara said...

I love your 'take' on this - very entertaining! Worried now that I'LL be the zombie fodder while you run past at great speed pushing your double buggy...
(have you read The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks? v funny)

Really good luck and hooray! let us know how you get on, won't you?

The Shed And Beyond said...

Nothing like a few zombies to get the blood pumping, and if you have a smart phone there's an app that combines running to get fit with zombies, it's called (oddly enough) zombies run.

SophieRunning said...

Congratulations! Welcome to the world of running. Careful .. it's just as contagious as the zombie plague..

Unknown said...

I thought we were the only people to have those discussions! i feel more normal now! And inspired to have a look at the C5K plan - after I have shifted this hacking cough and runny nose!

The Last Slayer said...

Thanks for your support! And your tip! Am definitely keen not to have my boobs flapping around anymore than they have to :-D

The Last Slayer said...

Hi Clara! Don't worry - I won't ask you to sacrifice yourself on my behalf - we need to keep you and your wonderful illustrations alive :-)

The Last Slayer said...

I've just checked out that app - it looks great....and scary! Maybe I can use it at the end of my challenge to see how long I really could survive for?!

The Last Slayer said...

LOL - thanks Sophie. I hope you're right! I'm determined to finish this challenge and am happy to be proved wrong about running :-D

The Last Slayer said...

I hope that's just the common cold you've got and not the germs that will be the origin of the apocalypse?! LOL :-D

SouthwarkBelle said...

Hi - just found this from the BritMums health blog hop - love the zombie invasion motivation! I've followed the couch to 5k programme and found it really helped - I utterly hated running but it was only thing I could find time for after becoming a mum. I also found that signing up for the Race for Life (5k) and having people sponsor me was a really good incentive - the guilt of knowing peoples charity donations depended on me getting round the course was enough to get me out training!

Good luck!

The Last Slayer said...

Hi to you too! I agree that running seems to be the easiest post-kids fitting in option. It's so great to hear about others who have done a couch to 5k and who had a similar mindset about getting started in exercise - makes it seem much more doable. Hope to get to know you more via twitter :-)

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