Yesterday I mentioned in Blood, Sweat & Beers that my brother - who I might add is in the latter stages of his fourth decade and runs marathons for fun - challenged me to run 5 miles in 55 minutes or less.
Mike threw the gauntlet down just after I'd told him of my achieving the 5 mile distance on Thursday's run, for the first time since he shepherded me to 5.1 miles on the last leg of The Running Challenge last Spring.
As you'd have guessed, I took up the challenge like a fat lad accepts the offer of cake!
Despite failing in yesterday's shopping trip to find fresh sports togs, this afternoon I donned my third favourite running tee and my other pair of running shorts and limbered up for the sub-55 minute mission.
Here's a link to my route of choice:
This route includes 2 laps around the site of the Summer Sundae festival in Leicester, it's definitely worth checking out. Who needs an ipod when you've got the music of live bands pumping out as you run?
Each time I passed the entrance for the festival I had to weave my way through an indie crowd at various stages of inebriation - the temptation to abandon my run and join in with boozing was almost overwhelming...but I had a time to beat, so I kicked on.
When I reached the London Road side of Victoria Park for the second time I was almost within sight of the end but having expelled extra energy trying not to look like a struggling heffer to the young and beautiful indie folk, I was almost out of gas.
My method of timing was very basic, given that I only had my mobile phone to use and I had no intention of holding it on the run, so when I got back to my missus I raced to check whether I'd beaten the target of 55 minutes...
...Victory to the Fat Lad! 49 minutes after setting off on my 5 mile run I was back, sweaty but early!
My brother congratulated me, then laid down another challenge: 10k in less than 1 hour.
It looked like cake to me, and I am a fat lad.