YOU see, the thing is, in my head I am already a marathon runner - I’m a svelte size 10, lean limbed, lightly bronzed, effortlessly gliding along with poise, grace and ‘hardly a hair out of place’ style.
The harsh reality of course is somewhat different!
Although I have tried before, I’ve always given up after a few goes. It’s too hard, it hurt, I ached, and if I can’t do something after two or three attempts then I just throw in the towel.
Or rather the tight, contour revealing, body hugging lycra tights in this case! (By the way, why do runners wear these? I’m sure there is some secret initiation ceremony and covert dress code involved that I will learn when I am a ‘real’ runner – but honestly, they are hardly the most flattering of legwear are they??)
But anyway, what I needed this time to make it work was a plan, a programme, a guide to running, a scrap of paper, the back of a beer coaster, anything!
But something I could easily follow and one that would build me up gently, so I didn’t give up in despair at the first sign of a stitch or tiny blister! Fortunately I knew just the woman to help!
Gill has competed in marathons herself and she has also had the rare pleasure of being on a run with me (Ashbourne Hash House Harriers – we’re not a running club though, we are a drinking club with a running problem!) She has seen my bright red, sweaty face after 100 yard jog, so she had a pretty good idea of what she was up against.
She suggested we meet in the pub! There was something slightly perverse that really appealed to me about writing my marathon training plan over a pint of cold lager and a packet or two of pork scratchings.
I turned up feeling somewhat apprehensive, ideas of a rigid boot camp hell tormented me, but you know what? I really liked her idea of a training plan.
Scribbled on a sheet of A4 paper – exactly how many days, minutes, seconds until THE DAY.
She decided that I had, as she put it, ‘tons of time’ and all I needed to do was three training sessions a week, gradually building in intensity with the end goal of being able to run a couple of hours by Christmas! My first week was just three speed walks of 15 minutes!
Yep, that seemed just fine and dandy to me.
And so it began. Just 15 minutes of run/walking, which I though would be a doddle! Literally a walk in the park (or should that be a jog in the town?)
Well, it wasn’t. In fact it still isn’t. But that has made me all the more determined to do this thing!
Gill told me to pace myself by running from lamppost to lamppost, then walking to the next one, and so on.
Well, ever the cheating, shortcutting lazy rogue that I am, I soon worked out that if I crossed the road part way through a lamppost ‘run’ section then the next lamppost on the other side was closer, so I had less distance to jog.
And then with a crafty zigzag back to my original side on the ‘walk’ section I had more distance to recover! Cunning eh? I can tell you approve!
(By the way, for those who did approve of this move you might really enjoy coming along to a Hash House Harrier meeting – such shenanigans and deviousness are wholeheartedly encouraged and short cutters are revered and admired for their wily skills!)
So anyway, here I am, one week into my training and for those of you who, like me, enjoy analysing the geeky stats, I have noted the full and rather pathetic details below. Remember, it’s just the start – no one said this would be easy and now at least I have a base from which to improve... so please do check back next week and see how it goes in week 2!
It does feel good to say I can now actually run a mile. Not yet with the ‘effortless grace’ I had imagined, and it’s not an unbroken run, but next week I will increase the distance and keep the same pace. bring it on!!
26 Aug 6pm 0.96 miles, 12 minutes 36. Pace 13.07 min/mile
28 Aug 6pm 0.94 miles, 11 minutes 39. Pace 12.23 min/mile
30 Aug 9pm 0.94 miles, 11 minutes 40. Pace 12.21 min/mile
By the way – if you are enjoying the blog please don’t forget I still need to raise funds too! Even just a couple of quid will soon add up and get me to my target of £2,000 for the British Heart Foundation:
I’ve made it really easy to do:
Text CAZS47 and amount to 70070 eg CAZS47 £5
Donate on line at http://www.justgiving.com/cascita
NEXT WEEK’S BLOG – It’s all about the ‘kit’ and caboodle…..