I did something remarkable today. I ran.
That’s not an easy task for someone who’s still as heavy as I am, and not possessed of industrial strength knees.
It turns out there’s a free 5K Park Run every Saturday practically everywhere you look. I admit I did know this already. Some of my friends (slim and fit ones, surprisingly) run them at various locations fairly often. This morning I ran the park run at Walsall Arboretum. It was painful and embarrassing to be surrounded by “proper” runners putting in decent times (some less than twenty minutes) and me expecting to deliver something less than an hour but not much.
After the first of three laps, I was reduced to walking significant sections as relatively unused muscles began to present their accounts and my lungs demanded a period of defrosting. The second damn near killed me. It was cold and wet and there are people walking dogs and the stewards are the only people clapping you on. Until I neared the last lap, and the bulk of the runners started to lap me as they finished, and someone I couldn’t recognise told me to keep on. And then another one. The last lap is a lonely place, and took forever. And then as I rounded the last full turn and began to head for the finish line, more simple words of support from folks walking back from the finish as I limped home last but one and thoroughly knackered.
And then it was smiles and pats on the back and a welcome to return next week. Do you know, I just might. The next target would be to stagger over the line in under 40 minutes. Does anybody have a spare lung and a new pair of legs I could borrow?