|My fancy new trainers, a kind birthday presie from my in-laws|
I decided back in February that if I don't get into shape this year, then it's only going to get harder. And by chance, I came across a series of NHS podcasts called Couch to 5K. In just nine weeks they took me from gentle one-minute runs interspersed with recovery walks, to running a solid 5K in 30 minutes. To see the beginner's programme, go to http://www.nhs.uk/LiveWell/c25k. They recently added a series of three improver level podcasts.
It's a great way to see the great outdoors (even the wilder nooks of Kilfennan Urban Park!). When I've been away in Dublin on my course and visiting Sarah's family in Berkshire, I've enjoyed getting the runners on and seeing new places. This weekend we're off to Switzerland for a wedding, and I'm looking forward to planning a route around Wolfhausen on www.mapmyrun.co.uk.
I never take a mobile on my runs - so please don't mug me. It's so wonderfully self-indulgent to be uncontactable and just be with my thoughts for three hours. Ha ha just kidding. I can't run for three hours.
Now, for the past couple of months I've been training for a half marathon and so far so good. I'm not too worried about how long it takes me to get round, I just want to finish it (and ideally not come last).
I'm running to raise money for Latin Link, who I worked with in Bolivia. We're all suckers for pictures of cute little children, and rightly so. But when young people in orphanages and social care projects turn 18, there often isn't anything for them to go to for support.
Tunari Treasures is a project that our friends Gray and Andrea started to support unemployed young men. They are taken in, mentored, trained and employed as metal workers. It's a brilliant project, providing the guys with life skills as well as a viable means of income.
Half the money raised will go to Tunari Treasures, and the other half to help with running costs in the Britain and Ireland office of Latin Link. Running costs don't sound just as exciting as the fantastic things they do in South and Central America, but without the office in Reading, the Irish and British members can't do their work. (Latin Link have a brilliant website with lots on what they do, www.latinlink.org.)
"How do I sponsor you?" I hear you cry! Easy. Just go to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ChrisMacBruithin for a fast, safe way to donate. If you pay tax in the UK, tick the Gift Aid box to increase your donation courtesy of Her Majesty's Inland Revenue.
If you can make a contribution, thank you! And if I mention in three weeks' time that I think I've picked up an injury and might not be able to run, please tell me to wind my neck in and get myself around those 21.1 km!