Three months ago, in a moment of two-pint delirium, I decided to run the Sydney Herald Half Marathon. Not deterred by my impressive lack of fitness or acute hatred of running, I believed this would be the perfect way to put my ongoing(?) #yearofsexy scheme in to action.
Fast forward 11 weeks and here we are: I fly to Sydney next weekend in order to drag myself around 21 kilometres of city (apparently a very hilly one. Oops). It has been an interesting few months, and here are some things I have learned on the way.
It gets better very quickly. I am deeply lazy when it comes to exercise, and have always been one of those people who optimistically buy a year’s gym membership only to go once. Once I started “training”, the satisfaction of adding a few kilometres on to my weekly tally became something to work towards.
It’s an excuse to go shopping. RIP, year 8 hockey trainers.
People tend to be impressed when you say you’re running a marathon. And even when you tell the truth and say, sighing, “Oh, it’s only a half,” a distinct tone of admiration still hangs in the air.
You can help. I am raising money for BK’s Heroes, a charity started by Ben King, who was friends with my pal G until his untimely death earlier this year. Although I never got the chance to meet Ben, G always told us about him and so we followed his battle with brain tumours and kidney diseases over the years. From everything I have heard first-hand and read in the media, he was incredible and has left behind a legacy which will hopefully benefit those suffering in the future. You can sponsor me here!
Running burns calories. Who knew? My old mate Gunt is now somewhat feeble, and I’m eating more than ever. Here are a few insights in to my training diet:
- If I’m running over 10k, I like to stop at Woolies on my way home to get a tub of ice cream. Sara Lee’s salted caramel hazelnut is a training favourite – the calcium-rich ice cream makes sure my bones stay good and strong.
- Carb loading is a thing you need to do (I think). Pizza, pasta, potatoes, chips – these foods will give you energy and happy feelings.
- You can dip almost anything in peanut butter for instant (protein) gratification. Think apples, crackers, spoons, fingers…
Training has not been particularly gruelling, and despite a couple of setbacks (hangovers) I’ve still spent many evenings plodding around Melbourne’s Tan Track. There are worse places to run; I hope the motivation is still there when I’m back in Coventry… It might not be the #yearofsexy just yet, but at least I’m finally moving after all these years living as a lump, and missing buses because I wouldn’t speed up.
I’ve signed up for another race back home, and hope that one day I’ll actually be able to say I enjoy running; for now, though, I will say that I definitely enjoy guilt-free eating – it’s still my number one form of exercise.
P.S. If anyone knows some good food spots in Sydney, please holla! I might warm up for a post-race burger with a pre-race burger.