Help, my lungs are burning!
- 4 Jul 06, 01:13 AM
ESSEN - Four laps of a running track. Easy right?
If only I could say that was true but after running a mile for Sport Relief on Monday evening I felt the cool touch of the grim reaper on my shoulder and the hot burning sensation of the devil in my lungs.
I mean, I'm 33 now so no longer in the first thrusts of youth but I'm hardly over the hill and if I was a Premiership footballer who had looked after myself and avoided serious injury I might be in line for one last pay day.
But I'm not a Premiership footballer, I have suffered serious injury - two broken knee caps, one broken collarbone, one chipped elbow, two broken fingers and ligament damage in each ankle - and my diet and lifestyle are the sort that ensure I won't outstay my welcome on the planet called earth.
In this context, my time of 6.31 must surely be acceptable? I have actually no idea since the last time I ran a mile I was being pursued by a pack of hooligans through the streets of Brussels and may well have set a new world record.
To put you in the picture, we were told by people lazing behind their desks in the office back in London (harsh Fletch, very harsh - you're lucky we're not making you swim back frm Germany.. Ed) that we really should run a mile while out here in Germany for Sport Relief.
We asked for suggestions as to where and Penny - comment eight - came up with the idea of an army barracks near Monchengladbach - a venue at which her dad raced while in the army.
It was Jinny's day off - so many thanks if you are reading this for going out of your way to make it possible.
Ricco and I were somewhat dismayed when we turned up and realised that the blazing sun had lost none of its potency - and I was less than thrilled to lose the toss and told I would be first to go.
Halfway through the first lap - that's all of 200 metres - the knee started playing up. For motivation I tried to visualise how embarrassing it would look on the video Ricco is cutting if I pulled up but any such worries were soon superceded by the pain in my lungs.
Gasping for breath I pushed on and on and on, eventually dribbling over the finish line with all thoughts of a sprint finish Coe style having long since been abandoned.
Ricco, video camera in his hand, undertook the flash interview that I had suggested.
Question after question followed with no hint of an answer from yours truly. The only words I could have mustered would have been of the unpublishable variety.
Next up was Ricco, resplendent in his running shoes. Around and around he went but without any real sign of pain. I was still hurting.
Lap times, however, revealed he was slower and his finish time of 7.27 confirmed this. In his favour, he did not look nearly as bad as I felt I must surely have done.
I could go and on about how he is seven years younger than me, sometimes goes to the gym, plays five-a-side every week etc etc - but I suppose the point is that the Sport Relief mile is not so much about times but actually bothering to do it.
And there are two individuals in London - by the names of Alex Trickett and Sean Chaney - who have pushed and prodded us into this.
I would love nothing more than to see them run a mile under a scorching sun, stripped of dignity, pride and breath.
It might be a short distance to anyone half fit, but it really hurt and I want to see them practise what they have most definitely preached.
Don't forget to guess our mileage for the chance to win some
fabulous Sport Relief prizes, including a Pele-signed table football and
our very own Shevchenko-signed Fletch and Ricco t-shirts.