Tuesday, 24 April 2012

April 19: This Is My Moment

The new, sparkling shoes are gleaming at me… I can hear them singing ‘Fake Tales Of San Francisco’: “take me out, take me out”!
And I’m ready. I’m almost willing, certainly as willing as I’ll ever be. Have I mentioned that I can’t stand running? Well, I can’t. However, the process of buying the shoes (and exchanging tweets about it with a couple of people who have a lot to answer for in this processidentities will be revealed in due course!) ignited as much motivation as conceivably possible. If I fail to capitalise on this now, it’s only going to get tougher.
It’s raining outside, but if that becomes an obstacle I need to rethink my strategy, buy some Lottery tickets and invest in a treadmill. As it happens I’m a Sheffielder, so rain’s no obstacle (in fact, whatever could be? happiness, maybe, but that's about it). So I got ready and, at 19:40, emailed a colleague who gives me lifts into work, who ran the 2011 London Marathon on very little training and whom I’d informed about my newfound ambition:

The clouds are parting...
...the sun is shining...
...my time hath come!

All that was true, by the way. By the time the e-mail had gone and I stepped outside, a rainbow was arching in the distance. I couldn’t hear any angels singing, but maybe I was just being a bit premature and that would change after the run.

‘Run’ – let me qualify that. Having undertaken extensive research (i.e. done some googling and taken in what people I’ve never met nor ever will do have to say), I drew up a neat little plan. I’m alright with spreadsheets, me. Anyway, all these folk reckon that you should not start running by running. This appeals to me immensely, as you might have anticipated. No, one should walk first: and, for a while, walk for a minute, then run for a minute, then… that’s right, you’ve got it. OK – so not being able to run to the nearest postbox is no longer a short-term problem… that’s good.

I’ve not told you what my ambition is yet, have I? To run a marathon.
Yeah, right! Is it heck. C’mon, you didn’t fall for that, did you? If you did, please e-mail me your bank details and I will put you in contact with a Nigerian oil magnate for the investment that will change your life forever. No, I’m just trying to do a 10k here. I say ‘just’… obviously that would be a monumental achievement for me. That’s 25 laps of a running track, that is. And that is my goal. Every step I take, every breath I take, is geared towards running ‘a’ 10k.

Just any old 10k? Well, ideally not. Before I’d even bought the shoes, I’d spotted the race: The
Sheffield TenTenTen, which takes place on September 23. If you know me, you may understand my connection with one of those two snippets of information. Both may click, but thats less likely. But don’t worry, I’ll spell them out for you in the weeks that come. You don’t think I'm just going to rabbit on about running on here, right? I’m going to put some effort into making it vaguely interesting!

And yes, I did go on that run. One minute walking, one minute running, ten times. Twenty minutes, all in. And all duly entered into The Spreadsheet. I actually made it to the local and back. Fifteen minutes were enjoyable, the last five less so. But that was good: I didn’t want it to be enjoyable. Well, not ‘easy’, anyway. This was as hard as I wanted it to be to motivate me. And no, I didnt hear any angels singing at the end.
By the way, “The Local” is itself an exotic location… it’s a bit like The Grapes, home of the magnificent if under-exposed “Early Doors”, only you feel you’re going further back in time. There’ll be time aplenty for me to introduce you to “The Ship”, don’t worry. Or will there? Having run there last Thursday, I needed to consider whether that was reason to return there on foot for some liquid refreshment or indeed to stay away from it and not waste the good effort. The fact that around 9pm I tweeted “#soditimoff #nocommitmentSquintani” should give you an idea as to which school of thought prevailed. And thats even though theres no Lucozade at The Ship and no, other energy drinks are NOT available either!

p.s.: £5.49 for both series of
“Early Doors”??? #gerritgot !

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