Where does the time go? Just five minutes ago it was Christmas and I was polishing off a fifth tin of Roses. Just after that the call came to take part in the Dublin Rock’n’Roll 10k run and, while I initially declined, my wife talked me into doing it, pointing out that it was eight months away and I had loads of time to train for it. And now here we are, with only 52 days to go! I know this because the sadists over at the website have a helpful (read: terrifying) countdown to the event on the August Bank Holiday weekend:
I think they asked me because I’m not a runner. I’m the perfect example of the average lazy Irish dad, with a few pounds to lose and up for the challenge of doing the run. I’m not sporty or athletic, I’m out of shape and just looking for something to get me off the couch. Either that or they just wanted to have a good laugh at the fat guy trying to run.
As I write, I’m mindful of those people who already own running tights and expensive runners, who do a half marathon before breakfast and have run in every city on earth. I can see you rolling your eyes scoffing at me and my puny 10k. I know loads of people who are mad into their jogging routine, who love to get out and pound the pavement, fire up the ipod and get a bit of time to themselves while they crank up the endorphin buzz. I know some people who say they are addicted to it and that’s great. But I am not one of those people.
While I’m training, all I can think is “I want this to be over” or “are we nearly there yet?” or “ow, ow, ow”.
I’m running 8k twice a week now. I don’t think I’ll do the full 10k before August because then I’d have nothing to work toward. I sometimes train with my wife and I used to imagine us as those beautiful, toned fit couples: shades on, chatting in the sunshine, exercising together as other, slower couples look on jealously. That was the dream. The chat stopped about two minutes in because I had to concentrate on breathing and moving at the same time.
But the feeling of accomplishment for the rest of the day is fantastic. Controversially, I would even say it’s better than a fifth tin of Roses.
The benefits are starting to show in my waistline too: I’ve lost nearly two stone since I started training properly. When other people tell me how much better I look I always ask them why they never told me how awful I looked when I was fatter.
I’m not the only one seeing the benefits: I got chatting to one of the Rock’n’Roll idols at a photo shoot the other day and he’s lost eight stone. Again, I feel inadequate.
Actually, if you have a moment, your vote is needed: the idols are finalists in the running (literally) for a grand prize of a trip to Las Vegas for the marathon there in November. They each have an inspirational and powerful powerful story to tell and they’re well worth checking out:
Since I signed up for the 10k run, a 5k race and a fun run have been added to the programme of events. This was a source of some disappointment for me, since I would obviously have opted for the shorter distance, or better yet, the fun run.
“No worries!” they said, “you can do both!”
I laughed heartily at that until they explained the remix challenge to me: run the 5k on Saturday 6th and any of the races (fun run, 10k or half marathon) on Sunday 7th and you get an extra “remix” medal:
Very ambitious, but it’s tempting. If you’re up for it and thinking of heading along, I’ll see you there. You won’t be able to miss me: I’ll be the big guy at the back unable to chat because I’ll be concentrating on breathing and moving at the same time.