Three weeks to go... and I’m running out of excuses

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18 August 2017 8:26AM

Just over three weeks. That’s 22 days, or 528 hours. Why am I counting down?

Because that’s how long I have until I hit the start line of the Great North Run.

As has been the pattern of my year, it seemed a great idea at the time.

“Oh, we’ll enter the ballot. we won’t get in,” Dianne and I trilled.

We got in.

“Oh there’s plenty of time for training – we’ll get down to it after that walk in June,” we cooed at each other.

Now, there’s three weeks to go, I can barely run above two and three-quarter miles without pain in my leg and we’ve done next to nothing.

We did go for a walk on Sunday. That counts, right?

I can see my coach Sam Ayers shaking her head as she reads this, probably mouthing the word “core” at me as she seems to think that class will help.

What makes it worse is the proper runners in the BodyFit gang (look good in Lycra, post up annoying Strava times on our community page) are all chatting about their 10- or 12-mile runs in preparation for it.

I’m just silently nodding and smiling, like I know what they’re talking about.

I tried an extra treadmill run on Sunday. I don’t really want to talk about it but it didn’t go well.

Also, I’ve checked. Unfortunately, Google doesn’t offer a couch to 13.1 miles in three weeks course.

I’m doomed. Three weeks. I’ve said it again just to terrify myself.

Dianne, who has completed the Great North Run, says we’ll be fine and the “atmosphere” will get us through.

All I can say is that I hope the atmosphere has a great big stretcher and a bottle of gin.

I’m blatantly going to get passed by the man in the chicken costume and the really old woman who only took up running in January because her eyes were too bad for bingo.

I’m going to appear on Look North in that “And finally” piece as I’ll still be running on Monday. Or Tuesday.

That’s going to annoy the people on the bus we’re travelling with.

It’ll be all worth it though, for the sense of achievement of saying I’ve completed a half-marathon.

I can dine out on it for weeks, if not months.

I put up a flippant status on Facebook about how badly my training was going and got a personal message from a university friend.

She couldn’t believe I was doing the Great North Run.

It has been a while since we’ve met and she’s not aware I’m half the woman I used to be.

She was wondering if I’d flipped my lid or having some kind of midlife crisis because we’re hitting the big four-oh later this year.

Still, I’m game – and I’ve even signed up for the new North Lakes New Year Half-Marathon in the Lorton Valley in January.

I’m hoping the humiliation of the Great North Run will spur me on and get me into gear to actually train for it.

Six months, right? Plenty of time. Although I do remember saying something similar earlier this year...

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