Those of a certain age will remember The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown ...
The sight of a bloke singing on Top of the Pops with his hair on fire left an indelible mark on this particular man-of-a-certain-age. But this morning I felt like I was repeating the feat. Almost literally - my feet (feat .. feet... get it?) were on fire at the Parkrun.
I had done a 5k+ on my treadmill Friday evening, and it was tough. In fact, it was the perfect excuse to stay in bed this morning. As usual, though, Mrs Malcy kicked me out the door with a cheery wave. (I lie - she was still dead to the world, but it sounds good).
I'd only be doing 2 of the 3 laps so I though I'd start in the middle ranks rather than my usual place right at the back. When we started, I felt myself being pulled along and, well, I finished the run. And finished it in what, according to Nike+, should be a PB - by around 30 seconds!
Isn't it amazing? It's such a mental thing this running. I say it again and again and again, but it IS all in the mind. And it's more evidence that, for me at least, running outside is MUCH easier than using the treadmill.
Wahoo - a result!
However, as is the case in many of my stories, there's a post-script. I'm doing the Great Trail Run in the Lake District in a few weeks and had been telling Mrs Malcy that there's no way I would run 11k across the Lakeland hills ... but if I could run half, I could walk the other half. That way, I would preserve some illusion of being a runner. Now, at the start of today's Parkrun, there was a bloke who was wearing a T-shirt from a hill running festival. Naturally, I made a bee-line for him at the end and asked for some advice. "Build up your distance, young man", he said. "Hills need half as much stamina again as running on the road. "Young man, I thought? Young man? I haven't heard that for a LONG time.
Having procrastinated for a couple of months, I reckoned I should start now. So off I went for another lap of the park. I knew this would be OK because I'd done two extra laps on a previous occasion, and survived. At the end of the second lap, I decided to stop. Job done - I could step up to the third extra lap next week. Except I actually felt OK. Right then, I said to the chimp on my shoulder - back in your cage. A third lap was on. Maybe I'd only get half way round, but I would have tried. End of the third lap - still going, so carried on to the end of the normal Parkrun route. I'd done a second 5k run! And done it in 27m 44s!
I AM THE GOD OF HELL FIRE! AIN'T NO STOPPIN' US NOW! KEEP ON TRUCKIN' And, for Harry Lauder fans everywhere, KEEP RIGHT ON TO THE END OF THE ROAD!
We CAN do much, much more than we think we can.