Despite the flippancy of the title, I am as delighted as you can imagine and it was indeed unintentional. Well.....to a point.
The story begins around 10pm Wednesday evening with my kissing Mrs Fingalo goodnight and heading in for an early one. I rarely sleep well before a run, whether that's down to anticipation, fear or excitement I've yet to work out (possibly a combination of them all?) so I tend to go to bed before 11 pm, my redundant alarm being set for 5 am. 'Redundant' because as I've mentioned often, I always wake up before it. Several hours and several times before it.
However instead of drifting off, about 20 minutes later I found myself up and back at the computer because as I lay there ruminating on the day I'd remembered I'd forgotten to check a 5k route I had in mind for when I was aiming for distance after qualification. For some reason it wouldn't let me settle so I decided the only way to get some kip was to take to MapMyRun and put it out of my mind. It's basically my usual route but extends it to Millionaire's Row, four or five beachfront properties owned by the likes of Fatboy Slim and Paul McCartney, although I think the latter handed his over to his ex (Heather Mills) in their divorce settlement and I believe she still lives there. But enough of the gossip...
That done, I hit the sack in a real positive frame of mind and was out like a light almost as soon as my head hit the pillow.
Waking (for the 3rd or 4th time) just before 5, I was quite taken aback (and not a little distressed) to find that all the negativity about this running lark that I'd suffered during the first half of my last run was there again, this time as soon as I opened my eyes. Not so bad that I considered staying in bed and giving it a miss but very stark and as I said, genuinely concerning. I'd feared this since I began the programme, it's not me to do this kind of thing and here was the real me, reasserting himself.
I said when I mentioned it on my last run that it was nothing to do with the usual agonies about whether I could complete the run, here was confirmation of that and despite how events transpired, I remain very concerned about it.
Anyway, heavy hearted as I was, up I got, splashed my face, donned my gear and set off for my stomping ground on the beachfront, Laura's dulcet tones getting me focused (actually it was probably the distraction of her still god awful music) and by the time I started to run, I'd put it to the back of my mind.
Run 1, Week 8 and I found my rhythm fairly quickly, I'm usually all over the place for ten minutes at least but by that stage I was well tuned in and happy enough with how I felt and was already thinking of where to do my u-turn, the better to end up close to my usual exit point. When Laura mentioned I'd gone halfway I used that as a marker and tried to judge another minute because as with my last two runs, I intended doing 30, rather than the 28 required. This brought me beyond where I'd ran before and I was concentrating on pinning down a landmark for my turn to use on runs 2 and 3 when I realised I was by the Lagoon, which made me peer into the darkness ahead and lo and behold, there, right in front of me amid disco lights ablazing and whistles pursed on lips were Heather, Zoe Ball and Fatboy himself, having it large!
Okay I laid it on a bit there, actually what was in front of me (no more than a minute's run away) were their homes and the turning point of the 5k I'd laid out the night before.
I was really surprised I was that close and it was only then it occurred to me that I might try and see if I could do the whole run.
So try I did!
I ran right up to the fence that marks off their private beaches and u turned, knowing that if I was able to get all the way back without stopping, my first 5k was in the bag.
We all have points on our runs that tell us where we are, I have a couple on my return that if I'm struggling, I use as motivational tools. By feck, it was only when I turned that I realised how much further I'd gone. Anyway I was still in a good rhythm and at that stage I felt I had a decent chance of managing it. In retrospect I was getting quite cocky about it as I was already thinking of how happy I'd be, telling Mrs Fingalo about it when I got in.
It was then a cyclist flew by me only about a foot away, I swear to God it frightened the shite out of me. He had a really wide footpath to use and I'm still unsure if he was taking the Michael or simply trying to avoid the pebbles strewn along the inside of the track. Anyway it was at least a distraction. Laura interrupted my thoughts of revenge and said I had five minutes left (for the 28) and by that I deduced I had about twenty minutes running to do, although this didn't quite fit with the landmarks I mentioned I use to get me home.
When I hit the area I that Laura usually marks at the start of a run with a cheery "you've just done five minutes" I realised I was somewhat ahead of schedule, as the only measured run I had to go on was a 25 minuter in which I ran just over two miles, yet here I was with, at most, only six minutes to go to add more than a mile to that!
Did I say "only"? That last six minutes was really hard and it was only the prize of a 5k that kept me going, I was so close there was no way I was stopping now. As I saw the exit which marks the finish line (ha, suddenly I'm Haile Gebrselassie) I couldn't help but smile, then smile a little more, before a broad grin exploded over my face.
As I slowed to walk, a quick look at the time on my 'phone left me slightly perplexed as although I hadn't timed my departure, I knew roughly what time I'd left the house and worked out that I must have done it in about 40 minutes, with which I was well pleased. However I also stopped my app, which I'd started when I began my run as I was trying this particular one for the first time and (thought) I'd set it to give me a nod at each kilometre, the better to gauge my progress. As it happened I'd made a balls of it and received no info while I was running at all.
However when I checked it indoors, it had worked and recorded my run as 5.1k in 36 minutes. Yes, thirty-six. A three and a feckin' six!
EDIT: I checked the yoke tonight and it was 36 minutes, 32 seconds.
Quite frankly, I'm stunned!
P.S. Despite popular opinion on here, I have to tell you, I think 'You and Julie' sucks!