Since I was a track runner, a kid, I have read Athletics Weekly. It is a die hard athletics magazine that few people outside the sport know exists. At the end of the year AW publish a special stats magazine that lists the top 50 athletes for every event in UK.
On loads of runs this year, I have been imagining getting to the end of the year, buying that magazine, and seeing my name in the rankings. I would go through it all in great detail. Drive for 1hr to the nearest WHSmiths, buy the magazine, and a cappuccino, switch off phone, and slowly flick through the pages until I get to the marathon list, right at the back.
After Berlin marathon, in September, I was ranked 16th in the UK. But I still had a lot of sweating to do until the end of the year. There was Toronto, Chicago, New York, Frankfurt marathons still to come. I slipped to 18th and thought I would stay there. Some guy then ran a marathon in Beirut (didn’t see that one coming) and knocked me down to 19th. Still, my first time ever in the top 20 in the UK and definitely enough to make the Athletics Weekly lists.
On Wednesday this week, after work, I take the hour drive to WHSmiths. I am nervous/ excited the whole way. I buy the magazine and have to fight really hard not to start flicking through it right there in the shop. I get a latte (didn’t go with the cappuccino in the end, I am a spontaneous guy), sit down, switch off phone, and slowly start flicking through the pages. I have been waiting 8 months for this moment, and here it is.
My name isn’t in there.
I check again.
In their infinite wisdom, Athletics Weekly have decided to cut the lists down to the top 10. I don’t know when or why they started doing this. But I am devastated. Something about having your name, in your hands, in print. Can’t beat it. The one thing I took from Steve Cram’s autobiography, which was about as exciting as his commentary (make of that what you will), was how much of a boost just seeing your name in the local press can give you. That little bit of recognition is invaluable. Is it vanity? Or egotism? I don’t really care.
I was in the gym later that evening with all this going round my head, when some massive guy comes and slaps me on the back, nearly knocking me off the treadmill. I take my headphones out and am wondering ‘what have I done?’ and ‘am I going to have to fight this guy?’ I don’t fancy my chances! He is waving an iphone 8 at me and smiling. I had found the phone in the changing rooms and handed it in. phew.
As he walks off to the weights area and starts lifting things a lot heavier than me, I giggle to myself, good job I handed that phone in. He would’ve killed me. I imagine him ringing the phone and it going off in my pocket, he tries to catch me so I increase the speed on treadmill to get away, but then he jumps on treadmill next to me and we start racing each other… This little daydream amuses me for the 10 mile run.
Non-running related highlight of the week:
Take my God kids to see the new Star Wars movie, love it. They buy me a t-shirt that says…
Funcle – like an uncle only cooler. See also: handsome, exceptional
Hey, I’m just telling you what the tshirt says.
Best thing on the internet this week:
Been listening to Dan Carlin Hardcore Histories podcast here. Absorbing
Thing I’m digging this week:
Spiced Cookie Latte in Mcdonalds
|Tuesday||REST||8x400m in 66 (2min). 1x200m in 28. 5 miles total|
|happy with it, starting to feel bit of fitness coming back|
|very hard. Had to stop and rest at 7 miles|
|feels much better than yest|
|last day at work – pub after work, then Thai restaurant, then pub|
|drive to london.|
|Sunday||18 @ 7.20miling||2|
|with Kent AC clubmates|
|TOTAL:||50 miles||tm = treadmill|