“Hey, Smoker’s Lungs – wanna come for a 5km run?”

If I had actually taken the time to ask my lungs that question this morning, the answer would have been (in a slightly panicked, high pitched voice):

“Are you kidding me?  No – we’re not ready!  We’ve only done stuff on the treadmill until now.  In bursts!”

Instead, I didn’t mention it. I quietly went about the business of preparing for my first time at Parkrun – a 5km event that a few of the local 12wbt crew have mentioned and taken part in.

New running shoes? check.

New ‘belt thingy with a zip bag’ to hold my keys and registration card?  check.

Directions to start line? check.

Over-inflated sense of what my body is capable of?  check.

After a few nervous trips to the loo, and checking the clock for the umpteenth time, it was time to go.

I wasn’t overly-confident, but figured walking / shuffling for a first attempt would be more than fine.

Running is also one of my goals, and today I would be drawing on ‘fit stretchy pants lady’ from my inspiration board to do some gentle nudging.


And we’re off…

It wasn’t a great start. Less than 30 metres in, my brand new track pants started to fall down. In all of my preparation, it seems I forgot that I’m no longer a size 12.


The waist wasn’t that loose when I tried them on.  Walking was fine, but I didn’t factor in the motion of running, or gravity, or the fact that I’m now actually a size 8-10.

So in true “what would MacGyver do?” style, I hoisted my pants up as high as I could (with modesty intact; ie no reference to desert-dwelling mammals and their digits), and used my ‘belt thingy with a zip bag’ to keep things in place.

Crisis averted, now onto the running.

…and so began the battle of wills between Smoker’s Lungs, Legs, and Mind.

Legs: “Hey, this is pretty good. We’re doing OK”.

Mind: “I know, right?! I’m pretty proud of us for doing this – we’re almost at the 1km mark”.

Smoker’s Lungs:  “OMG are you guys freaking kidding me? I’m dying here. This is not like the treadmill AT ALL. We need to stop”.

Smoker’s Lungs then continued to behave like an over-tired-therefore-misbehaving toddler for the remainder of the 5km.  Whenever things got too much, a tantrum was thrown, and breath was cut off until I was in an almost-blue-in-the-face state and had to give in / make it stop.

To start with, Legs and Mind put up a fight.

Mind: “C’mon guys, just to that next marker”.

Legs: “We’re not even tired yet, can’t you just pipe down and let us do this?”

Smoker’s Lungs:   *cuts off oxygen supply and has the final say*

After a while, I could sense Legs doing the whole passive-aggressive ‘eye-roll thing’, and huffing in disdain.

Mind on the other hand, was starting to listen to Smoker’s Lungs. The ‘checkpoints’ to reach for the running intervals were getting shorter and shorter in distance.

But the beauty of something like this event is that you have a bunch of others (70-odd people today) doing it as well, and in a way pushing you on. All at varying levels of fitness, and for varying reasons.  Some beginners like me, some super-fit, and others doing it with their young children – and that in itself is inspiring.

Anyway…after shuffling, stopping and starting, walking, and occasional bursts of running for 4.5km, the finish line was in sight.

By this stage Mind, Legs and Smoker’s Lungs were all friends again, and agreeing that this was in fact, a very, very hard thing to do.

Tired, hot, and SO ready for this to be over.

But then Young Boy Behind Us could be heard gaining (maybe around 7 or 8 years old, running with his mum, and doing a fabulous job!).

So Mind, Legs and (a very begrudging) Smoker’s Lungs bandied together – determined to cross the finish line running, and to cross it ahead of at least one person.

I did it!


*insert cheer / roar from the crowd here*

OK so there was not actually a cheer or roar from the crowd, but I did manage to finish, and in just under 40 minutes. The official time hasn’t been posted yet, but that isn’t really important for now.

It just felt good getting out and doing something different.

The course itself was great – lots of trees and great scenery, and only with a few hilly bits. The weather was gorgeous, and around us were sports being played, people with their kids, people walking their dogs, and other typical Saturday morning activities.

Yes, it was tough. Yes, I struggled.

But I also am kinda-sorta proud, and one step closer to being a fitter me.


Post-run update:


Feeling pretty good, and already planning for next week.

Could do with a nanna-nap, and very thankful for knowledge gained from TV – in particular MacGyver.


Tired and sore. Currently resting, and potentially not moving for a while.

Smoker’s Lungs

Relieved it’s all over, and slightly nervous (after behaving so badly, things are not looking good).

Has a sneaking suspicion that Mind is plotting ‘Normal, Healthy Lungs’, due to a reference to something called Willpower.

11 thoughts on ““Hey, Smoker’s Lungs – wanna come for a 5km run?”

  1. Wow! Great story! Fantastic effort. Please, please give up them smokes ASAP!! (from an ex-smoker). Your lungs will only be saying one thing then – THANK YOU!! 🙂

    • Thanks, M! And thank you so much for the encouragement. I went out during my lunch break today and bought Allan Carr’s book (Easy Way to Stop Smoking). Healthy lungs here we come! 🙂

  2. Pingback: It’s all in the interpretation | click three times

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