6 November 2006

Running 2.0

Out of all the different sports and types of physical exercise imaginable, there’s always been one that I’ve never really understood. Running. Run away from someone threatening to beat you up? Yes, that’s allowed. Run to the kebab shop 20 seconds before closing time? Yes, that’s allowed too – unless there’s a taxi rank nearby. Run for fun? No way!

I think my opinion on running was heavily influenced by my attempt at trying to run the 1500m race at my school sports day in 1995. I stepped in on the last minute because the lad who was supposed to be running it had chickened out and I was team captain (for some unknown reason). I remember getting lapped by all the other runners twice and hallucinating when I crossed the finish line with an acidic taste in my mouth. That firmly confirmed my suspicions that there was nothing fun about going for a run. And that’s why I was pretty damn shocked when I found myself saying that I wanted to do the Sheffield Half Marathon next year!

Here’s the problem. When I said that I wanted to run the half marathon, it was back in August when I’d been out drinking since about 18:00 and happened to mention it whilst in a taxi on the way home at around 02:00. As part of the new training schedule, I’d also arranged to go for a run that Sunday. My brain might not have been fully functional, but I remembered to set an alarm to remind me about what I’d said – and I actually went for a run for the first time in over 11 years!

So why am I posting about all this now? Because the reality of what I’m doing suddenly hit me when I got home from work to find an envelope containing my first ever running number – you know, the sort that people wear on their chest when you see them running on the telly! It’s for the Percy Pud 10km race (organised by Steel City Striders) that some of us applied for a few weeks ago. Since it’s “South Yorkshire's most popular 10km” we were advised to get our applications in as soon as possible, which I did. Bearing in mind that 3 months ago I’d never run further than 1500m, I’m now feeling somewhat nervous about running 10km with a huge number 6 on my front! (I thought they reserved the single digit numbers for the serious runners! Is everybody’s going to expect me to come 6 out of around 1000 runners now?)

If you’re interested, you can see the two routes I’ve been following on my MapMyRun Profile. (Thanks Chris!) I’m now running around 4.7km with a couple of stops. With just under 4 weeks to go, I think I may need to start pushing myself a bit more – especially if I’m going to come sixth.

Perhaps I should be running to the kebab shop on the other side of town instead of the one that’s just around the corner...?

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I am number 9!

As a I child I never liked sports. Running too. But somehow things changed. And it is a rather pleasant activity, and very fitting.
Anyway, from 1.5 km to 4.7 km is a very good progress, so I wish you good luck!