Are you one of those people who pop into to the shop just to pick up a litre of milk, only to emerge with five other items?
Well, that`s me anyway. Though, naturally, I can justify every purchase.
There`s the staples, of course. With three teens about the place, milk and cereal are almost daily purchases. And then, of course, with my ahem! athletic appetite to consider,well, I can almost beat them in eating stakes.
The book is this month`s bookclub purchase.
But Runner`s World? Well, there`s a fine line between me feeling like a runner or not and the likes of these magazines help me cross to the right side of that line, at least for a little while.
The banner headline declared this magazine a “twentieth anniversary special” no less. With sidelines promising “Best Tips Ever” and “Make Every Run Easier” I can always do with best tips and easier runs.
A flick through the inside revealed a fat section devoted to runners. I`m in the market for another pair, and in need of some assistance wading through all that sales assistants` jargon. Another little section has a sweet piece about Runner`s World readers who have collected every single edition. There`s a mention of park runs in there, of which I am such a huge and very recent convert. Some interesting research on caffeine intake. And a nice little piece explaining vVO2 max in layman`s terms.
But, the piece de resistance for me, is an article from cover girl and athlete extraordinaire, Paula Radcliffe. I really admire her and am only too happy to hear her advice on how to improve one`s motivation and overcome setbacks.
Runner`s World gets chucked into my shopping basket.
Mind you, at a few cents shy of seven euro, the magazine was a similar price to the book I also purchased. Something I can never quite understand. But, since I`m more vain than I am parsimonious, my conscience swiftly overrode that little niggle.
Of course, it could be argued that I`m more delusional than anything else. There`s a big part of me, see, that buys so quickly into the dream. A part that says that by buying this magazine, I could be more of a runner. Without-sigh-even donning a pair of trainers.
Not that I`ve been half bad this week. At least on the training front. Fresh from last Saturday`s park run, I ran eight quickish miles on Sunday. Monday was cross training day-a walk and yoga. Tuesday saw me push the boat out with three miles of intervals. Wednesday I indulged in a new route and a new hill. Park run has thought me to feel a little less comfortable in training. I have to push a little harder. The intervals I`d practised over August, though short, had already achieved an improvement and a little more zip in the old legs.
But all that`s guilt talk. The truth is, my inner coach potato is always urging me over to the sofa and Runner`s World could even be her ally. I wrestled briefly with the vacuum cleaner today and declared it cross training. Truth was, I couldn`t wait to get to hop into bed with my new magazine.
Oh, the joys planning my running strategems from a prone position! I fully immersed myself in nutritional advice, inspiring articles, and, even, the carefully crafted ads. For a while, my head was filled with brightly coloured lycra clad gods and goddesses. I drifted through realms of consciousness and glided alongside them all. I was magically transformed from an old Red Hen to a winged goddess, a Nike streaking down trails, and through lanes, and across the pages of Runner`s World. And onwards into the fields of dreams and on chariots of fire.
I`ve woken up now, still bound by my same old feathered and inefficient body. But I really do feel a little more like Paula Radcliffe in my head. At least for another while, and maybe even for the start of this morning`s park run. At least until my legs become leaden and my lungs scream and sweat runs in rivers in all sorts of places.
We shop for life`s necessities, but also for happiness. And happiness can be the promise of transformation into a better us.
Yep, I`ll have that, thanks.