Running (to the fridge)

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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.

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Pray for me

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.

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The only size 8 I know

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!

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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…

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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.

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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.

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I run the Tan without a tan

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.

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