Walking in Bologna

Walking is boring. "There, I said it", as the kids say these days. I fancied it up my training sessions with nice scenery, hilarious podcasts, Julia's fabulous schedule, and the post-it note reward scheme… but still I grumbled every time, a bike would be so much faster, dammit. As would a Ferrari.

I'm glad I kept plodding along though, because on Race Day in Bologna the rewards became clear…

1. Races RULE!
I felt like a donut signing up to walk the race when the Up & Runners were running it, but Julia insisted that races were best thing to keep my motivation blazin'. She was right. WHY is that woman always bloody right?

I loved the whole shebang. Laying out my gear the night before. The jangle of nerves at breakfast time. Walking to the race with all the Up & Runners, down a cobbled cliche of an Italian street. I gracelessly jumped in the air and yelled, "WOOHOO!".

At the start line, bouncing up and down in a sea of hot pink, I finally got it. THIS IS WHY YOU DO THE TRAINING. To get the other side. The race! The fun part! The people! The new places, new sights, new smells.

Race gear, ready to rock!

2. It's okay to fake it
It didn't matter that I'd not loved the training – the important thing was that I did the training. My legs didn't know that my mind wasn't entirely into it, they got fitter and stronger regardless. So often when things are boring/uncomfortable/scary/unfamiliar that voice pipes up, "maybe this isn't meant to be" and/or "let's run away!". I'm glad I went through the motions anyway, week after week. This can be applied to so many things in life, right?

3. There's an BEAST lurking within!
As soon as the starting siren went off my brain flipped from "let's go for a nice Sunday stroll" to "let's walk this f*cker as fast as possible GO GO GO!". The halfhearted stroll became an all-out charge! Out of my way, Italians with umbrellas!

(Did I mention it was raining on race day? It wouldn't pass for rain in the UK – twas "like being misted with Evian" as Paula called it – but many locals were ducking for cover!)

I think I've been trying to convince myself ever since I first hurt my knee that I didn't really care about running or races. Oh I'm just happy doing my workout DVDs! I'm happy to hold the bags while everyone else races. Don't mind me! But as much as I love my solitary DVDs and my classes, I also love getting competitive with myself. So I'll keep indulging that side with more events. In time, hopefully my body will be able to keep up with my brain's ambitions.

4. Lipstick adds a sense of occasion
At the start line I met the lovely Erica, an American living in Italy whose blog I've read for years. She'd come to run the 6k and is doing the 10K Course in June, so she got a sneak peak at the lady who'll be bossing her around for 8 weeks! Anyway, Erica was wearing RED LIPSTICK. With her hot pink race t-shirt she looked so foxy and ready to rock. My new years resolution was to wear lipstick more often, you may recall, so I've added a sub-clause: wear red lipstick in a race. My foxy pal LBTEPA does that all time too. I have lips, I have sticks, so why the hell not?

5. My granny knee is thankful
The more I walk the better it feels. I pine for Zumba and kickboxing but taking the sensible route is paying off. It doesn't lock up so much and the "burning" sensation happens less frequently. Same goes for the sciatic pain. The race topped up my resolve to keep moving and eating well. 


6. Everything's more fun with friends
I walked the race with Honor, Clare and Julia who are recovering from injuries. Their company really made me savour every Holy Crap We're Walking In Italy moment. Races are a great excuse to hang out with awesome people. We need to do this stuff more often!

Cop a load of this race medal! Sure it says Run when I Walked but that's faster than snoring in bed on a Sunday morning. I'll take it.


20 thoughts on “Walking in Bologna

  1. You look so utterly vibrant in that photo. I envy the amount of fun you were having.

  2. Woot! I’m ALL for the walking. Even when my damn ankle heals, walking is a conscious choice I’m going to continue making.

  3. Bravo for you to keep up with the training! And the festival looks awesome! I hope you get lots more opportunities to do this stuff!!!

  4. Woohoo!

    Walking can be hardcore – you Moonwalked and lived to tell the tale.

    Women’s 10k next year? I’ll sort out some better weather for you…

  5. Thanks Siphos πŸ™‚

    Emmie, let’s walk & talk in Baltimore! πŸ™‚

    Thanks dear Anji!

    And LBTEPA you’re the ultimate red lippie inspiration!

    Hell yeah Tamara, so up for Glasgow next year!

  6. I’m so not a serious runner, but the excitement of standing at a starting line is unbeatable. Adrenaline, competitive spirit, the urge to elbow everyone out of the way…. πŸ™‚

    Good for you for just freaking doing it!

  7. OMG…I am beyond jealous! I love, love, love the bling! You must promise more of these U & R get togethers….I could do with another trip to Scotland…I loved it when I was there in 2009!

    Love you Shauna!


  8. i’m TOTALLY feeling you on the whole “walking is boring” thing. my oldest friend of (yikes!) 30 years and roommate and i completed the historic bay to breakers 12k this past sunday. if you’re not familiar with it, i would highly suggest you check out the website (http://zazzlebaytobreakers.com/). i believe its our country’s oldest race as it celebrated its centennial this year and is known for its all-out zaniness and um, nudity. yeah, you heard correctly but lets not go there shall we cuz it wasn’t always pretty. 7.5 miles of pure insanity with a giant san franciscan about 1/2 way into to the race. oh and did i mention the COSTUMES? honestly the website REALLY does NOT do the event justice. like you i have been nursing knee that i injured back in 2005 but i have been training to run or at the very minimum jog so it was all i could do not to break into a light trot. anyway, alls well that ends well. my friend arlynn and i finished the 12k in about 3 hours and it was totally worth it! kudos to us both my half namesake!

    cheers from s. ca

  9. Um… I hope you missed that big earthquake! When I saw it on the news, I was like Uh Oh, I think Shauna’s in Bologna… geez. But, there is no mention, and if you had been there for it, I’m sure there would have been (+ much nervous nibblings to report).

  10. Hooray! The walking in Bologna looks amazing! I love walking but am definitely happy that I’m not doing the moonwalk again this year – all those weekend miles become a hard thing to feel enthusiastic about, it just takes so long to cover 10/12/16 miles! I find I’m quite happy walking and thinking but the walking and thinking is much easier on a route where there is enough to look at to stay interested but not too many people to dodge – an early morning training walk in London was great, for instance, until I hit the South Bank at midday on a Saturday!

  11. Are there any plans to offer Julia’s cunning plan for building up to walking a 5k as an ‘Up and Walking’ option? Looks like it worked a treat πŸ™‚

  12. @Shauntay that sounds like MADNESS in the best possible way. Well done you champ!

    @Gemma – wholeheartedly agree with you there, it just takes so bloody long! I can only imagine the London crowds! the only thing that could tempt me to Moonwalk again would be the Iceland one, I reckon πŸ™‚

    @Sara – the race was on May 6 so missed the earthquake

  13. You chicks were walking super fast, I saw you. That training certainly paid off.

  14. Go Shauna, you look great in the photo and so proud of you for doing the walk/ run πŸ˜€

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