Out of bed just after 8 am on Saturday morning, slash and a splash, gear on and out the door in ten minutes, having left a note on my pillow for the undisturbed Mrs Fingalo, 'Gone runnin'. Have to say I was both eager and slightly apprehensive.
Laura (for it is she) gives the instructions in my ear and so I start with a brisk five minute walk. For what reasons I know not, I wanted to time the end of this section just as I arrived at the front (we live on the coast) so I circumnavigated the square outside our door before heading down. Two things stick in my mind as the panorama opened out, the romantic being how beautiful a morning it was, with the sunlight across the sea and secondly, how much the sight of a team of about eight runners flying along holding something aloft would have deflated that optimism were I to have realised (as I did when I passed them later) the things they were holding aloft were car tyres....
I probably needn't add they had finished their run when I passed them.
Laura advises you not to go off too fast (women, it's always about them!) so I tried to take it handy enough as I broke into a jog for the first time. The minute comes up pretty quickly yet I still enjoyed the 90 seconds of brisk walk it's succeeded by a bit more. Then again with a 60 second burst before the brisk walk again, repeat eight times.
And that is how the bastards draw you in. After all, even an unfit, never exercised in his life, sofa loving, taxi drivers dream like me can run for a total of eight minutes out of half an hour, right?
Well yes, as it happens but by feck did it make a holy mess of me. And while I ran every running section, by about the third walk it would be a hell of a stretch to call it 'brisk' although I did try.
Quite frankly, after only three or four of the run sections I was thinking I'd never see my beloved again and it went through my mind that my last words to her might have been something slightly more appropriate than a joke about my morning jog, so you can imagine how I felt as it went on. My lungs felt like they were on fire, I was sweating like David Cameron at a Murdoch dinner party and my breath was coming out as if every one was going to be my last.
In fact I was delighted I had the earphones in because although I tried to keep some distance, often I'd find a running section took me right up behind folk out for a morning stroll and I was unable to hear what it was I sounded like, although from their reaction (I swear to god that one poor aul sod all but vaulted the fence onto the sand) I don't think Cowell will be looking to get me on record any time soon.
Anyway, thanks to Laura (fecking bitch) I got through it and lived to fight another day. Although if it takes as much out of me on Monday as it did today (it's 7 pm and we're just about to head out to meet friends for a few pints and a meal but would rather take to me bed) I think I'll be talking to the HR department about refunding a days wages come the end of the month.
Calves slightly tight after first walk but okay after a couple of the run sections. Lungs bursting. Legs okay until later on, at which stage I could feel a bit of a wobble in the walking sections, especially the five minute walk at the end.
To sum up, while I didn't have much of an idea how I would get on, it was much tougher than I thought it would be and I look forward to the days when I read this and think "imagine I found such a stroll in the park difficult".
Next stop, Monday morning.