In the end of July, I was at home in Portugal for a week. Jo, my dear friend, took a day off work to spend with me and it was lovely. We went to Esposende and Apúlia, the beaches of our childhood. We didn’t know each other when we were kids, but these are the beaches that people from our hometowns usually go to.
It was windy and cloudy; too cold to go in the sea, as it usually is on the coast up North. So, we walked on the beach, smelled the breeze with its special smell of sargaço and had one of my favourite lunches of this year: grilled sardines, steamed vegetables and roasted pepper salad, with a bottle of green wine. Food from home.
What does this have to do with running?
Well into the afternoon, we headed back to Braga because Jo had her last fitness class of the year. Because the gym where she usually goes to was under construction, the classes in July were outdoors. The instructor had challenged her start running as a warm-up in those sessions, before doing a tabata workout in the park. For this session, I tagged along.
The thing about Jo is that, much like me a few years ago, she doesn’t really like running and seems to think that she won’t ever be any good at it. Now, I know what that feels like, but I also know, from my own experience, that that is not really true. So, we’ve been talking and I’ve been telling her how difficult it was for me in the beginning.
Funnily, the running path we followed on that day was exactly the same path I started to run on a few years ago. We started off slowly, but Jo picked up some speed. I told her to slow down a bit so that she would be able to run farther without being too tired. What she doesn’t know (but must have figured out) is that I couldn’t have run much faster either because I still had all those sardines and wine in my belly!
Away we went, until we reached her instructor who got us on our tabata rota:
While I can still outrun Jo (for the time being), she totally kicks my bum when doing sit-ups (check out my feet lifting while I struggle to sit) and I’m not even going to mention the push ups. I was a bit destroyed when we finished this little tabata session.
Then, we ran back home. By this point, Jo was tired of running, so I did my best to encourage her to look up and keep going, and she did!
In total, we ran almost 5K (nowadays, Jo is able to run 5K without stopping!), slowly, easily, and with sardines still swimming around in our bellies, but it was a jog at the end of a special day that made me very happy!