Whoever said taking up running is a great idea?
A friend of mine recently sold me on the virtues of running - for health not fun, I'd like to point out - I may be desperate, but I'm not crazy.
A ringing endorsement from said friend and the prospect of hitting the pavements seemed less painful than say, attempting 25 squats while holding a kettle bell or the ridiculously dangerous prospect of trying to use battle ropes without killing myself.
I was sold on assurances that not only would running help me unwind and de-stress, but it helped my friend lose one and a half stone, without having to give up chocolate. Hooray!
The celebrations may have been a touch premature.
I did as suggested and downloaded an app for running. The idea being to ease myself into it with a bit of helpful direction from the app. Who knew artificial intelligence could be so bloody vindictive.
Run for 30 seconds, walk for 30 seconds. Run for two minutes, walk for 30 seconds. Run until you drop into a ditch beside the road and, you guessed it, you can now rest for 30 seconds. This getting fit is killing me.
Then there are the obvious challenges the app can't factor in, like my massive lack of physical co-ordination or the fact I have the lung capacity of a 90-year-old with a 50 cigarette a day habit - when I don't even smoke.
No, apparently, all it wants is my age, my weight (which I did consider lying about for a good five minutes) and whether my current fitness regime is sedentary, moderately active or 'I think I'm Mo Farrah'.
I was shocked to discover 'close to catatonic' isn't an option for my current level of fitness. This is really something the app should consider factoring in.
That and perhaps an electric shock therapy to motivate me for the longer sprints. In my favour is the fact that after approximately five minutes of running/shuffling/crying I can no longer hear the instructions of the app. It is drowned out by the pounding of my heart, which I inevitably start hearing echoing very loudly in my head.
Of course it's kind of reassuring to know my heart is still working because, usually at this stage, my legs appear to give up on me. Suddenly battle ropes don't seem like such a bad idea at all.