Learner Driver | Eclectic Cake: Learner Driver

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Learner Driver

Once my body started to accept the shock of being taken out for a run – the ear ache subsided and the coughing was less frequent – I started measuring my little outings. I'd record the distance my new runner legs took me and how often they agreed to this strange new activity. The result is a very geeky looking love story. Increasingly tall pillars in the graph show each time I decided to push for another lap of the field; the fact that there's a forest of them shows I began running almost every other day. I'd fallen for this new pursuit and almost three years later, I'm still head-over-heels.

Running at lunch = "Runch"
Now, as my love story continues, I've somehow been invited to be a part of someone else's. A friend at work asked me to help her train from non-runner to half marathoner. What an incredible honour! So for the past six weeks, on Wednesday lunchtimes, we've been escaping the office in trainers and walk/jog/running around parks, along paths and across bridges. She's gone from openly hating running and struggling for breath, to declaring a session "awesome" and chatting through a non-stop 7k. 

A wonderful running patch from Carl Partridge
The pride in watching her progress can probably only be likened to the feeling of a parent when they witness their child stand and walk for the first time. But, just like new parents, I feel the weight of responsibility. I'm not a qualified coach. I plan out each run but, really I'm completely winging it and am conscious that these first few sessions could make or break a new relationship between someone and their running legs. I worry that I might be pushing her too hard or not hard enough; I don't want to teach her any bad habits or give her any wrong information; and I desperately want her to fall in love!

But most of all, I want her to see the progress that I'm seeing. So I'm doing my best to record every step with my TomTom Runner. I'm normally a forgetful GPS watch driver – sometimes forgetting to un-pause for a few kilometres after crossing at traffic lights – but, with someone else's journey in my hands, I'm going to have to be more careful. Nothing beats running on feeling – noting how long you can go without getting out of breath – but the graphs and numbers are proof of literally how far you've come. 

Hopefully, this relationship blossoms into a full blown love affair. For now, though, I'm enjoying being part of the ride...providing I can keep a record.

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