Do you know what the best thing is about training for a half-marathon?
Nothing, that’s what.
It’s lonely, boring, it hurts and it takes hours and hours and hours.
It’s more time consuming and more tedious than golf, and that’s saying something.
And if you’ve got a job and a family then you have to fit the best part of three months’ training around them, which is how you come to find yourself at the point of exhaustion in the middle of nowhere, miles from your house at 8am on a Sunday.
True, you get super fit. Running 20 miles a week since early July certainly gets you the occasional compliment from MILFs.
I haven’t been wolf-whistled by lady builders in the street yet, but by the same token I haven’t been called ‘skinny’ in quite some time and having my ‘lovely pair of pins’ admired does give the old ego a much-needed boost. Especially when you get to my age.
But apart from getting wonderfully fit and becoming physically attractive to young ladies again, there’s nothing nice to say about training.
Put it this way, if there’s roadworks on Barton Road any time before Christmas then blame me because it’ll be because of the trench I’ve worn in the pavement from ploughing up and down it on my way to Galgate and back.
If Lancashire County Council need an audit on the state of south Lancaster’s pavements then I’m their man. I can recite every crack and pothole from memory. I see them in my dreams most nights.
Anyway, the training’s done now and fingers crossed all those miles will have paid off this weekend at the Great North Run from Newcastle to South Shields.
The time is irrelevant. So long as I get round without bothering the emergency services then that’s a victory in my book.
I hear what you’re saying, if you hate running so much why sign up for a half-marathon, you stupid *****?
Two reasons. One. I got drunk one night in 2011 and a mate talked me into running last year’s race. Race day was, perversely, okay and before I knew what I’d done I’d signed up for and got a place in Sunday’s event.
Two. Last year I raised about £400 through sponsorship for Macmillan Cancer Support.
I’m running for the same charity this year and would appreciate it if you’d sponsor me. You can do it online at justgiving.com/michael-gardner1