Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The start of the runs

This post will appear in two parts. The first part will be written before I go for a run and the second part after. I want to conduct a little experiment to see if I can manage a bit of exercise.


I’m about to change into my running gear. I’ll be wearing the red and white racing colours of my trainer, Lady Margaret Doolan. Sorry, rubbish joke. Put it down to pre-run nerves. Actually I’ll be wearing a pair of trainers I picked up on the Holloway Road 12 years ago in the afterglow of Euro ’96. I say, isn’t it frightening to think children younger than my trainers are being arrested for knife crime? Sorry, I’m just procrastinating now. I will go for the run. In a minute. A bit of background first. In my younger days I was actually a half decent runner. Fading away in a scrapbook somewhere I even have the certificates to prove it. But to be honest my athletics career fell at the first hurdle when I discovered other interests. Guinness mainly. So I’m under no illusions; I’m an out of condition 35-year-old man whose body has been ravaged by time, a predilection for the Liffey’s finest, and just for good measure, ulcerative colitis. I will be timing myself. With a stopwatch.


Get set…

Did I ever tell you about the time I found a fish finger nailed to…alright, alright, I’m going.



I ran for 18 minutes 37 seconds. I stopped after 18 minutes 37 seconds for two reasons; firstly my legs were tiring and secondly I was lost. I didn’t keep track of any of the street names I passed. They were a blur anyway. Not because of the incredible speed I was going, but for the simple fact I wasn’t wearing my glasses. And it was dark out there. Fortunately a bus went by that was heading towards Walthamstow, so I was able to follow the direction it was going in until I was back on familiar turf. (This part of the run I walked.) Navigational difficulties aside, I think the run went pretty well. I wasn’t in any danger of setting off any speed cameras, but I kept a steady pace, which could loosely be described as a jog. My breathing was regular throughout and I didn’t get a stitch or cramp or anything. The backs of my knees felt weak, kind of like loose elastic. I’ve noticed this before though, even just climbing stairs, and I definitely think it’s a UC thing rather than an age thing. Not that I’m going to let a trifling matter like jelly knees hamper my athletics comeback. After all, my legs did manage to carry me through the back streets of E17 for a whole 18 minutes and 37 seconds. Next time I’m going to aim to run for 30 minutes. With the help of an A-Z.