So, recently, upon deciding that half-marathon distances aren’t quite cutting the mustard or motivating enough for me anymore (I can detect your eye-rolling from here – don’t worry, I hate myself more than you for my sheer smugness), I signed myself up for the Greater Manchester Marathon, which takes place on the 29th April 2012.

Subsequently, I have started to up the ante on my running training, and have spent the past few weeks suffering from headaches, blisters, exhaustion and mouth ulcers. My immune system has received a metaphorical kick in the balls. Not fun. But totally worth it. I think.

As part of my new SIX-GODDAMN-DAY-WEEK exercise regime, and because I’m a sucker for watching incredibly attractive, ripped women clad in tight lycra getting all hot and sweaty, I’ve started working out twice a week to a Jillian Michaels exercise DVD, because basically, I want to look like her the Runners World forum advises that marathon runners should have a ‘strong core’.

Apparently, Jillian Michaels is America’s toughest trainer, a claim I can most resolutely attest; only yesterday I openly wept tears of sheer pain as I desperately attempted to keep up with her relentless regime whilst being balked at with a ravaging torrent of apparently motivational commands such as, ‘I WANT YOU TO FEEL LIKE YOU ARE GOING TO DIE’. Don’t worry Jillian, I’m ON it. In fact, I’m secretly wishing I actually DO fucking die, and then I won’t ever have to do another travelling push up or pendulum lunge whilst concurrently performing a bicep curl and balancing on my head. Haven’t a clue what these are? Neither do I.

What I do know, nevertheless, is that these innocently named exercise moves make you sweat like a bitch and seemingly alarm your body to the point where it starts sending out S.O.S distress signals to your brain in an increasingly frantic manner. ‘Please stop, please’ – a fruitless attempt, really, as your poor brain can’t actually process anything over the terrifying tirade of Jillian Michaels’ voice booming, ‘THINK ABOUT GOING JEANS-SHOPPING, THAT’LL MAKE YOU FAT-FUCKS MOVE’.

Thanks Jillian, but I find that voodoo-plotting a lifetime of obesity upon you, is equally as motivating for me. And so the crying continued… Only last week for example, at kilometre 19 of a 21K training run, as my body literally started to waste away from a disastrous combination of a bastard wine hangover (your fault, finselmegger), and the return of my good friend, Monsieur Foot Tendonitis, I realised that I was actually sobbing. OUT-LOUD, IN PUBLIC.

For god-knows how many kilometres, the music blasting in my earphones had led me to believe that my sorrowful-snivelling was self-contained within my own head, but oh no, couples, both young and old, enjoying a hand-in-hand romantic stroll in the park, along with the obligatory dog-walkers and tourists snapping shots of the pelicans, were subjected to my auditory assault as I hobbled on. Perturbed by the increasing occurrence of my emotional outbursts, I took to Google, and with one hand, gingerly typed in, ‘why do I cry when I run?’ whilst the other hand brandished my iPhone – set to the speed dial of my shrink. As the results filtered in, I became more and more aware that I am not alone.

Apparently crying whilst exercising is pretty common, something to do with a high-intensity endorphin rush. I found an article written by John Bingham, a Runner’s World columnist, he stated: ‘you are processing something very important and whatever it is needs to get out. And crying seems to be the way. So, let it be. Enjoy the experiences. Let the tears out. And just be grateful that you’ve found something in your life that can provoke that kind of response’. Which is all well and good, John, but I had a similar experience watching Marley and Me, (y’know, the bit where the dog dies), and I cried my heart out in the comfort of my livingroom. Alone. In my pajamas. Drinking red wine and eating a pizza.

Fuck exercise.