It’s all about those 56 seconds!
Micheal Bleasdale, 'The Chap' blogger
We always need a challenge in our lives, and when I say we I mean us men! Overly competitive or not there is a natural inbuilt feeling that we must achieve something. A self-satisfaction you could call it to beat someone else or to improve on something you’ve done. For me it’s sport and exercise, it helps me think, de-stress and it also stops me getting fat! I’m now in my mid 30’s and if I don’t start looking after myself…..well when someone says I’m a growing lad, let’s just say it won’t be a compliment!
Up to last August (2010), I only played field hockey and occasionally went to the gym. Then strangely I decided to start running, something I’ve hated since I was made to do cross country at school. Running has now become an integral part of my life, not only is it keeping me fit physically, it really helps me keep a healthy happy attitude to life.
The problem I have now is I have to beat the time and distance I’ve already achieved; I’ve become addicted to a sport I use to hate. How that has happened I don’t know, but I love it. I never ever thought I’d be able to run 10 kilometres until I signed up to run in an event and surprised myself. It was reasonably easy so I did another event which I found even easier and enjoyable. Listening to the crowd cheering for you (well maybe not for just me), is real encouragement, plus no way would I stop in front of people and give up.
So what next I thought? It’s obvious – I’ll enter the Great North Run - if I was going to do a half marathon why not complete the most famous half marathon in Britain and possibly in the world. How hard could it be? It’s only 22 kilometres long; not much further than 10 kilometres…..right?
How wrong I was, the first time I tried to run 22 kilometres or 13.1 miles I almost died. Ok, that’s a little dramatic, but let’s just say I didn’t make it. So my over confidence came crashing down and I realised a lot of training and commitment was needed. So what would push me harder than just my own personal competitiveness? Who or what would keep me spending hours outside running?
I decided I wanted to run a half Marathon in loving memory of my Dad who died from a cancer called Multiple Myeloma in 1990 and to raise money for Cancer Research.
Although his death was a long time ago I still haven't forgotten what an inspiration my Dad was and still is. He was a fighter (not in the fisticuffs way), he loved the outdoors, and now I had a real reason to run. I’m totally rubbish at the hands on stuff you have to do to look after someone who is seriously ill, but what I can do is raise money for a good cause.
Every time I thought about not training because the last session caused me discomfort and pain I thought of everyone who is going through an illness like cancer. Sounds pathetic doesn’t it to moan about your poor muscles and joints feeling sore when so many people out there are fighting for their lives.
Walking like John Wayne for a few days, getting funny looks and the odd person laughing is totally worth it when you know you’ve done something that has raised money and helped somebody you wouldn’t know from Adam.
So, my commitment comes from my dad, charity, my own stupidity and my competitive stubborn attitude. Now I’ve completed the Great North Run I’m hungry to run further, faster and raise more money. Also, because I completed it in 02:00:56 and I really wanted to finish in less than 2 hours, I’m going to have to do it all over again; it’s really all about those 56 seconds!
Michael from The Chap Blog.
If you’re interested in running a half-marathon or any other race click here for full details of half marathons to the end of 2011