Cast your mind back to last August.....

Our company was going to sponsor the Swindon half marathon. An email went around the office saying that if anyone fancied running it, the company would pay the entry fee and perhaps we could all run as a team. Ok I thought, that sounds like it could be fun, it'll give me a reason to get running fit again and I've been needing a reason to get back to running. So I emailed and showed an interest.

A few days later an email comes around thanking those that responded and giving the list of the SIX people who'd signed up. Of them, there were 4 hard-core, regular marathon runners, one ultra long distance running ( think 100s of miles at a time) and me.. The person who, at that point hadn't run at all in about a decade. Seeing the list, I started to panic. Naievly I had though that more "regular" people would sign up and I could run with them, not really caring about the time or speed, more just doing it for the achievement. When I saw the list and realised I had less than 8 weeks to not only get fit enough to run a half marathon, but also to do it in a time that didn't let the team down I was shitting myself.

Cue next day, when I join the gym and start working the treadmill. The plan was to treadmill a couple of times a week at least and do some outdoor running in between times if I could. The "if I could" didn't really materialise for over a month. However, to my surprise, my cycling legs helped me out enormously. Within a month I had managed 10km on the treadmill and my first outdoor run I managed 8km. Still a bucket load short of a half marathon, but I felt it was within my grasp. 6 weeks in and I had worked up to 12km, albeit, with a shit ton of effort and enough strapping on my foot to make me feel like the elephant man.

Then it was announced that the Swindon half marathon was cancelled, Swindon Town Council had effectively decided that they didn't want anyone coming to Swindon and certainly they didn't want any fit people here. Fit people would just highlight just how fat and ugly most of the locals are, so they came up with some bullshit excuse abvout it being too expensive and not cost effective. If you've ever had the joys of visiting Swindon you'll know that it's a shit hole and you'd think the council would do anything to get people to come into the town, especially people who were fit and thin enough to get around on their own, unlike the vast swathes of the town who are now too fat to walk and can only get around on mobility scooters ( I wish this was a joke, but it absolutely isn't)

So, with the half marathon cancelled I was let off the hook and stopped running. "just for a week or so" I thought to myself, then I'll get back to it, just without the manic panic I'd been having up until then....

That was last October, it's now nearly June and I've not been back on the treadmill or road since.

Until today that is. Still at work at 22:4l this evening I yanked on my shorts and running shoes and hit the shitty streets of Swindon. Amazingly, I neither got approached by a drunk, special brew drinking chav, nor stabbed... How amazing is that! Sadly though, my running legs haven't been keeping me as fit as I'd like. I only managed a paltry 2.5km today. I'm sure it had nothing to do with the vast amount of cakes and donuts I've been eating lately, nor the extra half stone I've put on since last October. I'm sure the only reason for my piss poor first run this year... um.... oh I dunno, let's just say it was down to being too warm or too damp or something... Not at all down to being fat and unfit.

Still, I can only get better!!

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