Enough was enough, there could be no more excuses. The time had finally come. This week I gingerly laced up my trusty sports shoes and headed out into the annoyingly unabating heat in order to embark on a training programme which, if I don't snuff it in the attempt, will culminate in the completion of the Malaga half marathon on December 10th. Well, I say training programme - it's more a case of running about a bit until I feel totally bushed which invariably happens extraordinarily quickly indeed.
Unfortunately, I did, at one point, make the mistake of asking for a couple of tips from one of those blokes who, inexplicably, feels no shame when sporting lycra shorts and drinking all manner of ghastly juices in the hope of shaving a couple of seconds off his personal best, not to mention shaving the last couple of hairs off his frighteningly smooth calves. Anyway, after half-listening to a lengthy discourse about running technique, dietary requirements and staggered schedules, I thanked him profusely for his kind offices and headed off home for a bacon sandwich and a lie down.
When you fill in the form to sign up for the event, they ask you to estimate the sort of time you think you might achieve. Well, while getting some papers in order the other day, I looked at what I'd written back in March when I first applied for the race and found myself spluttering bits of half-eaten kebab over the computer screen - I'd put 'one hour forty five minutes.' One hour forty-five minutes! What, in the name of all that's good and holy, had I been thinking? The chances of me getting anywhere near a time like that are about the same as me downing a kale and quinoa smoothie for tea tonight.
No, it'll be a relaxed preparation schedule around these parts, involving the tried and tested pints-of-beer rehydration technique favoured by some of the world's top athl - ok, beer drinkers, and a strict diet involving all of the stuff I normally eat anyway in exactly the same quantities.
Another thing - you know those T-shirts with 'No Pain No Gain' written on them? Well I might get one with 'No Lycra No Juice' emblazoned on it. It doesn't rhyme or anything but I think it could catch on.
Ah yes, and should anyone wish to come along and cheer me across the finish line, a more realistic estimated time of arrival might be, ooh, I don't know, shall we say December 11th?