I’m an athlete don’t you know???

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I’m an athlete! I’m an athlete!

It doesn’t matter how many times I repeat this, I’m so far removed from the actuality of it that Justin Bieber has more chance of being a poster boy for the Amish. Progress has been made though and the running is sorted. Stamina and endurance is being built up and in good increments too. I’m still more Blunder Woman than Wonder Woman but as I pound the streets (there’s no lightfootedness about my running) my muscles aren’t screaming at me to stop. The mental battle is tougher than the physical one and I literally have to say to myself that I can do this.

I have added to my training team. In addition to Yoda (very close friend Hayley), I have inadvertently added two more to the crew. One is Richard – not husband Richard, but neighbour Richard. Richard noticed that I had been out running and, in his usual straight to the point way, commented that I had obviously been out on quite a tough run and was finding it difficult. I agreed that, yes I was breathing like someone with severe asthma and that the run had been challenging. To be frank, it hadn’t been. I had only run 1.5 miles and stopped about 5 times. Not good. Richard is a seasoned runner; 10 miles is a mere stretch of the legs to him. Imagine the sense of dread when I realised that I had agreed to go on a run with him. He is quite acerbic and competitive. My fitness level was no match for his and I was dreading the prospect of doing a run with him. I couldn’t have been more wrong. He was lovely and very supportive and has even agreed to running at stupid o’clock in the morning so that I can get a run in before having to take Ben to school. Result.

Yoda is doing her stuff and still instils in me that we are runners not walkers. We’ve now expanded on that mantra and I have to repeat that we are ‘Triathletes’. Thing is, Hayley is; she’s done two. I, on the other hand, have bought two Triathlete magazines and I’m pretty sure that that doesn’t count….. at ALL!

The other member of the team is my boy, Benjamin. I adore my boy. He’s amazing, intelligent, funny, sensitive, well mannered, gorgeous and has just the right level of freakshow about him (he can cross his toes and twist his tongue). He has agreed to run a 5km Colour Run with me, bless him, and so said he’d train with me. He’s brilliant and really encouraging but runs three times the speed I do. He comes out with me but ends up running twice the distance I do because he keeps doubling back to check I’m ok. He’s an inspiration though, and another shouter of advice. Isn’t it the parent who’s meant to be coming out with phrases like, ‘you’re nearly there’, ‘you can do it, look how far you’ve come,’ ‘almost home, so shift your backside’? He never breaks into a sweat nor seems to be out of breath. Makes me sick sometimes.

So with the running now being comfortable, although still slow, I need to shift the attention to the swimming which I have been avoiding like the plague. Avoidance is not going to sort this. I’ve worked out what’s wrong and theoretically it’s fixable, it’s just that the last time I swam in the pool, David Cameron got on to the phone to me. He’d heard that I’d swallowed so much water that he was going to draft me in to help with the Somerset Levels flooding. Anyway, with less than 6 weeks to go, I’d better shift that ample butt of mine.

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