Andrew Knight reports
Andrew Taylor and I competed in the Regents Park 10 km run today. It was with trepidation that I saw Andrew there. He’d beaten me by about 30 sec last time apparently with ease. I was heartened, however, to discover that he hadn’t done much running of any kind for about 3 mths, whereas I’ve been training. Also, it was definitely warmer than the –2C of last month’s run. However, gloomy and slightly windy conditions gave the event a distinctly ‘nasty’ feel to this Australian, and probably dropped the temperature to around freezing with wind chill.
For me the event was a very long, drawn out ordeal of profound suffering. It was not actual torture, I decided about half way through, but fairly close to it. Had I not been displaying my ‘Vegan Runners’ vest I may well have dropped out. Curse the vest.
The first lap (of 3) was OK, although strong headwinds on some parts of the course made things a bit difficult. After the 1st lap Andrew appeared brightly at my side. “It feels all right when you’ve warmed up!” he chirped. I managed to gasp “I can’t speak” as he bounced along, looking disgustingly fit. All the expensive, warm running gear I had gone to pains to buy did not appear to be giving me an advantage over his cheap shorts and T-shirt. In fact, I was starting to overheat, although I was actually too knackered to remove my running jacket or gloves, adding heat to my misery for 2/3 of the course. For reasons that remain a mystery to me Andrew stayed with me until the final sprint – clearly not trying hard enough. I finished in 43:50, less than 5 sec behind Andrew, who apparently achieved a personal best. I was over 2 mins slower than my time on the warmth of a gym treadmill last week.
I weaved my way through the finish chute, not always managing to stay upright. I had felt seriously ill for 2/3 of the event. Stretching afterwards was fun, especially my ‘back stretch’ which involves lying prone on the ground with my eyes shut J Had I not wanted to reveal the depth of my wimpishness amongst company, I would have stayed there for blissful minutes…
I will continue to train and perhaps steal some bananas from the snacks table next time, to toss under Andrew’s feet when he’s not looking, and perhaps also Dave Arnold, who still manages to whip my butt despite receiving broken facial bones recently in a cycling accident in Spain (last known 10 km time: 39:56!!). Unfortunately he seems to be ignoring my advice to rest for 6 weeks and eat as much fatty food as possible, leaving me with little choice.