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30 June 2011

It’s Wimbledon time, and therefore the season to get disproportionately annoyed at other people. My Dad likes to shout “Cretins! Morons!”, and “Peabrains!”, at the television whenever the audience yell “Come on Tim!” just before the player is about to serve . According to Pa Notajogger, audience participation in sport should be limited to polite applause. Apart from when Leeds Utd are losing, of course, at which point it is mandatory to hurl insults in a broad Yorkshire accent you haven’t used for 40 years.

Yesterday evening I experienced some unwanted audience participation of my own and I rather wished my Dad had been there to voice his opinion.

It was time for the 5k Challenge III so, although I was very tired, hot and really didn’t want to, I planned out a 5k outdoor route and attempted to run it as fast as I could. The route wasn’t ideal: there were roads to cross, people to get stuck behind and hills to run up and down. It was also a warm evening and I was mildly dehydrated. Enough of the excuses. Two kilometres in it was going badly but I was holding on. At the next upward stretch I ran past the open door of a betting shop, which pumped out a blast of cold stale air, along with a thickset man who started running close beside me up the slope, shouting words into my face.

I don’t know what he was saying – I had headphones in and was staring straight ahead – but it was something like, “Come on, run faster, even I can beat you!”. He was laughing like a drain.  People have done this to me before, but usually the cretin pretends to run for two seconds but then gives up, but this moron kept on running, and he was faster than me. Automatically, my legs speeded up, ‘I can beat this peabrain!’, my body said.  Then my mind kicked in and countered, ‘I will not alter my running plan for this loser’. I slowed down and the guy threw his arms into the air in a victory gesture, cheering.

Rounding the corner away from him, I slowed to a jog to catch my breath. At 4km I slowed to a walk for 10 seconds. I left the watch going and finished the 5k in 21 minutes, 25 seconds. Not too far from my treadmill time if you take into account the slowing and walking, but you can’t do that. The time I finished it in is the time it took. If I hadn’t slowed down to walk I would have slowed down in general.

The gym isn’t real life and the treadmill isn’t real running. Real running comes with other people.

One Comment leave one →
  1. 2 July 2011 11:54 am

    Another hysterical post! You made that guy’s day. Good luck in the 5K. You know a bad rehearsal makes for a great performance.

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