“Hi! Good to see you again! It’s been a while!”, said the gym staff member. “What have you been doing?” “Eating, mainly” It’s tough to encapsulate a year’s worth of non-gym attendance into a single constructive sentence, but as I fast-rewound 2016 that was the best I could come up with. She looked at me…
My Mum does a great Dutch pea soup. It’s thick to the point of chewy and is filled with innumerable ingredients, most of which you could never prove were in there because they’ve been cooked into a merger. It has a sneaky heat about it…Which brings me more neatly than you’d think to the 2015 Cayman Islands Half-Marathon.
For about an hour after the marathon I was wondering whether perhaps running marathons was – for me – a bad idea. I recalled the skinny guy in the med tent telling a medic that this was his first and he wasn’t sure he was cut out for this. Well if he’s not cut out…
The problem was not my time (4:13:32), which was good enough for about 17,100th out of 49,600 – it’s my age. If I was between 75 and 79 years old my time would have been good for second in my age group category, and I kicked the 80-89 age group runners’ butts. In ‘reality’ though…
“If I was American, or in a cold/seasonal country, or without an existing training plan, or if I had no big races planned in the next few months, the Runners World Run Streak would be a great idea.”
“…shortly before the ascent up Mount Fifth Avenue began, a massive brick wall jumped out of the road in front of me and I slammed into it. I looked down at my legs in puzzlement, half-expecting to find a small child hanging on to each of them”
This was galling: 15 months previously anything over a few hundred yards was a major achievement, and here I was giving a half-marathon the big shrug. Someone’s really got to lead the charge in changing the name to something energising. Something that sounds like a completion rather than the…y’know…half completion of something.
It turns out that American tourists aren’t the only ones who struggle with roundabouts – my dog has no idea what she’s doing either. It may be that both suffer from bewilderment at having to go round something rather than straight over it.
“There were thousands of people lining the route, which was a tremendous lift but had my legs whispering “5K pace, 5K pace” loudly in my ear. I don’t know how my legs were able to whisper in my ear but they did. I told them harshly to get back lower than my butt and do as they were told.”
…1,000 miles, 1.5 million steps and 150 hours in training. An entire swamp of revolting energy gel packs, three pairs of running shoes, half a tub of Vaseline and way too many 4:30am and earlier alarm calls. Not to mention approximately 100 times having a needle stuck into me by my chiropractor.