5: PiG

Run Day 2
April 2017


I’ve downloaded “Running with Evy” again, a running app that has guided me from couch to (almost) 5k half a year ago. Although in the meantime it has been overtaken by other running apps – it was quite the rage ten years ago when it wasn’t an app yet and you had to download her coaching podcasts to your mp3-player -  it’s still quite famous in the Netherlands and Belgium. In beautiful Flemish, which is Dutch but with a French accent and cuter words, Evy tells you when to run and when to walk. She also regularly tells you she’s proud of you.

Like I said, I was almost at 5k before, but I never completed the training. At the bottom of the 30-row list (3 trainings per week, 10 weeks in a row) several green check marks are missing. I’m tempted to start again where I left off, so I won’t miss out on new green check marks -- those digital compliments that validate my efforts.  

If I were to start slow, and repeat a training from, say, week 3 or 4, the ones I’ve already done and that have already been checked, I wouldn’t get new green check marks. It would be as if I haven’t been rewarded. And I can’t reset my training and gain new check marks. 

I decide to be the adult here, and suck it up. Besides, I must be in a fairly good condition (right? I almost made it to 5k six months before, that must count for something?). I choose a training from week 5: four- or five-minute runs alternated with three-minute walks, in a total of thirty minutes. Easy does it!

Except that it doesn’t. Not only is my head as puffed up as it can be when I’ve downed a bottle of wine with a couple of cigarettes I swear I didn’t smoke, but this time, just a few minutes into the training, I’ve already started sweating profusely.

It’s hard. Never during the entire run do I feel the slightest sense of enjoyment. Instead, it’s pure survival -- and I look the part. I can tell by the worried looks I get from passers-by that they, too, have doubts about my chances of survival. I feel like a running – well, jolting - bad publicity stunt for exercise.  And all that for no new green check marks.

I return home, sweating like a pig, red-faced and out of breath, which makes it hard for me to speak.
Great. I’ve been working out, and I look like I’m drunk.

But Evy tells me she’s proud of me. 

And I agree.



The Meaty Vegan is chronologizing her attempts at not eating anything animal while undergoing the bestial challenge of training for a half-marathon. ‘The Meaty Vegan Ran’ is from 2017, and the ‘The Meaty Vegan Runs’ covers 2018 and forward. You can find an overview here

Would you like to stay tuned for updates? Sign up for my newsletter. 


I can and I will probably write about you. But I will name you differently. No correspondence will be entered in respect of this name-giving. You'll just have to deal with it.