Gradually, I have started to run a little further. Metre by metre I eke out my runs. I have no intention of joining James in attempting to run a half marathon – whatever the time-scale. I am quite close enough to the grave already. Nor do I have any intention of ever taking part in any kind of organised run. I run a little, and I know how boring I can be about it. Imagine an hour spent with people that run a lot. Or possibly two hours in my case. Also, the thought of the toilet arrangements haunts me. I’m ok when I’m at home and close to a lavatory that I am familiar with at the start and at the end of a run, but just imagine travelling any distance before a run and then joining a queue to use the portaloo! I am no stranger to the portaloo. I have queued for many hours to gain access to these reverse Tardis of hell. Nothing inside is anything like as big as it should be. It’s impossible to be inside one without touching something. Whichever way you turn, something pokes you in the back. Can you ever be fully sure that the lock is on? Who could possibly wee in those circumstances? Well, not me. Usually I wait for what I imagine is a reasonable amount of time: enough to have a (theoretical) wee, but not long enough to give the impression that I have had to deal with even more pressing problems involving – gulp – sitting down in there, before I wash my hands and leave – walking straight to the back of a different queue and hoping for better luck next time. I am not good with public amenities.
Imagine having to use one (and I most surely would) before setting off for a run. I would almost certainly have to loiter at the back of the field at the start so that I could nip back to the loos after everybody had gone (and there is little worse in this world than being the last person to use a portaloo). As my chances of subsequently catching anybody would then be very slim indeed, it would turn into a wholly ignominious run for me; lurching over the finishing line long after the last of the Zimmers, such self-esteem as I could muster trailing behind me like a two-legged dog. It’s really not an option.
So, what I am trying to do is to slowly lengthen my runs up to 10k. I don’t know if I will see it through. I don’t really know why I have decided to do it. Another little challenge I suppose. Having attained some kind of comfort over the last six months with my thrice-weekly 5k (occasionally 6k if I’m feeling good or there are chores to be done) it would be very easy to settle into that routine. I think I need to unsettle myself a little. I will push it on. 10k is a far-off target that I would like to reach over the summer, in the balmy evenings. It is quite a long way. At the pace that I run, it will take quite a long time to get there and I know what that means, but I live in the countryside; wherever I go it will take me past trees and hedges. You don’t have to be a contortionist to wee behind a hedge, and I’ve never had to queue for a tree…
The previous episode of the Running Man Saga ‘… On The Path’ is here.
The next episode of the Running Man Shenanigans ‘…on Stopping’ is here.
The very first time I ventured out to begin the ‘Couch to 5k’ nonsense is here.