I've always secretly envied running bores. You know: those evangelicals who go on about runner's high, and how the stress just rolls away, and how they get their best ideas when they're running, and the marathon was the best day of their life even though their toenails fell off, bla bla bla.
I envy it because I've always hated running, and the few times I've tried to make myself persevere (because it's good for you, cheap, quick, and you can do it anywhere) it's always ended in failure. And the comfort of hot buttered crumpets.
So imagine my surprise when I forced myself out for a run tonight and actually enjoyed it. Well, didn't actively hate it, anyway.
It helps that running along a riverbank is more invigorating than picking my way through abandoned takeaways in a London park. Sheer vanity is definitely there too: who was it said that until your 30s you have the body you're given and after that you have the body you earned? After three post-baby years merrily doing no exercise, I so don't want the one I've earned.
But it also feels luxurious to have a bit of time purely for myself: more so, actually, to have my body to myself for a bit. Life with small children often feels like one long physical demand, from the hazy days of round-the-clock breastfeeding to the constant desire of toddlers to clamber on you.
The problem now is how not to give up. After all, I've got to this stage before and then fizzled out through sheer boredom/laziness/refusal to go out in the rain. So, evangelical runners, I need to know: how do you keep making it interesting?