I ran a 10k in April last year, and you know what happened?
I finished, in a reasonable time, and then I had what can only be described as a full-body breakdown. My hip went, followed by the opposite foot, which meant that walking resembled something between a drunken stumble and the end-stages of a violent seizure. People got out of my way. One part of finishing the race – quite a sizeable element in my entering – was a free glass of champagne, which I was nearly denied, because I looked like I’d already mainlined 17.
My running, since then, has gone down-hill.
Partly because I’m lazy but mainly because I experimented with different kinds of exercise.
I joined a Boot Camp, where an attractive Englishman calling the shots laughed out loud at my efforts at a sit-up. That wasn’t my first Boot Camp, or my second, either – that was at the one I did last week, after attending for 6 months. Screw you, too, attractive Englishman.
I tried spinning, at which I managed to obtain multiple bruises. How? I hear you ask. You’re strapped to a stationary bike, what is there is to bruise yourself on? Fuck knows. But I did it anyway.
I played netball, which brought me straight back to my 15 year old self and you know what? I didn’t like her then and I’m not at all sure that I like her now.
I was doing anything to avoid running, basically, while still maintaining some semblance of fitness, and then I arrived at this thought: no exercise I do will ever be fun, so I might as well do the one that’s the cheapest. More money for lipsticks and obscenely priced martinis.
So, back to Regents Park, back to the attacking swans and the arseholes who run three loops in the time that I run one, all the while looking like they’re enjoying it. Sometimes I have strong suspicions that robots have successfully penetrated society.
The half-marathon is in October and is, by all accounts, a flat and easy one. Except that I don’t believe anyone who ever describes 21 kilometers as easy, since the last time I ran 10 I was convinced that my foot would fall off, and that all my blood would drain away, and that would be okay because at least then I could lie down.
I’m doing it though, and here’s how I know: I’m telling fucking everyone.
If I’m not confident in seeing something through I hide it, I look away, I don’t mention it to anyone who might bring it up a few weeks down the line only to be met by excuses and apologies. This time, it’s on my social media and I’m committed.
I’m doing it. I’m running a half-marathon. Send help.