From the Finish Line to the Start Line
Eek! The 10k is on Sunday! A year since I wrote this post about the race 2012.
Usually I look past the hype, the hysteria, the collective fixation on timings and pacings – but this year is different. This is it. You may not think it to look at me but this is as good as it’s likely to get.
Ten months of intense effort to sculpt myself into Stella Bonasera has met with limited success, but I’ll take it. My tummy may still have an uncanny resemblance to uncooked steak pie, but at least it looks like a small steak pie, rather than the oops-I-over-bought-why-don’t-you-invite-your-friends-and-family steak pie that it was last summer.
My six-pack is hilarious. There’s a Jessica Ennis six pack in there, it’s just the 7lb of puckered flesh draped over the top of it that I still need to deal with. I feel like one of those old-style upholstered chairs where the fabric is kind of riveted down with padding in between. The rivets are all in place, and if you half-shut your eyes you can see my poor old body doing its wee best to pull itself together. Not quite Velutha’s “divisions on a slab of chocolate” but as good as it gets.
I am half a stone short of my weight target, but I have convinced myself that it has all turned to muscle and so I can discount it. And I have made real measurable progress with strength. I roughly doubled my sit-up count in two minutes and the same for press ups. My running up hills has improved; I no longer want to vomit with every incline. Just some.
So, my weight is “in the normal range” and I am “of average fitness”. Yay!
To get fit has taken a huge effort and probably worrying levels of selfishness. Two weekday evenings and Saturday mornings have been ring-fenced for training. A multitude of baby-sitters have been called upon to let me out to roll in the mud. The children have been dropped at people’s houses when I should have been helping with homework or bathing them or putting them to bed. On one occasion they were dropped off at a baby-sitter clutching McDonald’s happy meals – Oh the shame of it!… But how else to do it?
So, as race day approaches, I have my target of doing it in one hour. Last year I did it in one hour and seven minutes – so that’s a pretty hefty improvement I am looking for. Usually my goal is just to get round the course without stopping. One year I tried “going faster” but that just led to a tortoise and hare fiasco. This year I have to go at the right speed.
And that takes arithmetic. Sadly for me, time isn’t metric, so I can’t work it out. Six minutes a kilometre, apparently. And I don’t know if I could look at a watch, think a mathematical thought and run all at the same time. I’ll maybe just go like the clappers and see what happens.