With all this talk of Usain Bolt and his sprinting I fear my own efforts are being shamefully overlooked. Here I am, achieveing noteworthy progress in my quest to become a proper runner, while that West Indian boy is grabbing all the limelight in Beijing. Let's put things in perspective. He is running a block or so in a few seconds which is fine for youngsters but I am eating up mile after mile of sidewalk and trail every day, like a real man. OK, his average speed is about 24mph while mine is closer to 7mph but surely distance counts for more!
I have plotted various courses around Charlottetown using Map My Run which relies on Google Earth, so I know the precise distances I cover. I keep meticulous records in "Sport Tracks" to monitor my evolution to finely honed specimen of humanity.
I completed my first five mile run in fifty eight minutes in May 2008. On Tuesday my time was 44 four minutes 56 seconds and that wasn't the only world record to fall this week. I also smashed my previous best for three and a quarter miles, lowering my time to 27 minutes 13 seconds. Yesterday I scorched through my 2 and a half mile course in just 21 minutes and 58 seconds. Phew!
Sunday I will be tackling a gruelling 8.7 mile course which takes me way out of town almost to the airport. As usual I will be counting my steps, to make sure I don't set off too fast and run out of energy. The sidewalks here are laid in large concrete sections and I count strides per crack (don't laugh), usually seven strides per five cracks will keep me slow enough to last the distance. The observant among you will have calculated this run is almost exactly one third marathon distance, a deliberate contrivance by me as I work towards my goal of 26 miles 385 yards.
I tend to build my morning around the run. Breakfast is a boiled egg with a slice of buttered toast and a mug of tea or coffee. Then I slide into my rather fetching black running gear: Under Armour compression shorts (long) and a Nike second skin shirt, Nike Air Pegasus running shoes and an Ironman stopwatch. Not only does the outfit look entirely convincing but it fits where it touches so there is no chance of chafing.
When the race is run, I sit and sweat for a while, dripping salty body juices on the front doorstep. Next comes the delicious long, cool bath to ease the muscles. Within an hour or two all the excitement is over for another day.
I mischievously like to claim I am now a finely tuned athlete but the truth is after an hour of stiffening up on the couch I can barely move and first thing on the morning, well - first thing in the morning I hobble like an old man. "Fleet of foot" only applies once a day.
Thanks to Michelle for photographing me as I crossed my imaginary finishing line. She cleverly captured me off the ground in mid-stride and deftly airbrushed a passing car out of the scene.