So, I run now. #ParkrunSA #LosingFatthew

I love Saturdays. I know, I know, this isn’t some great revelation for most people because, to quote a certain radio personality, it’s the weekeeeeend baby. Except, in my case, it isn’t the weekend, baby. I work every Saturday and have done so for the last 5 years — it’s one of the joys of working for a Sunday newspaper. So you might think that I’d hate Saturdays, but that’s not the case. At least, it’s not anymore.

For the last two weeks I’ve started my Saturday morning with a 5km run, thanks to the lovely people at Parkrun South Africa.

North Beach, Durban, Parkrun is the coolest thing ever. Maybe (just maybe) it might even make me like running. PICTURE: www.parkrun.co.za
North Beach, Durban, Parkrun is the coolest thing ever. Maybe (just maybe) it might even make me like running. PICTURE: http://www.parkrun.co.za

As of that first run on September 6, I had never completed a 5km before. Why not? Because I was as unfit as hell and, quite frankly, hated running and the whole idea of running. So while my time of 35m45s is really slow, I was proud that I had even finished it (let alone that I had beaten my target of 45 minutes – which is basically more walking than running). I finished 496th out of 936, so just over middle of the field. Not too terrible for my first ever run.

This last Saturday I went again. And I beat my time! At 35m08s it was slower than I’d hoped — I have a variety of excuses, including a strong headwind on the way back (debunked: my second 2.5km was faster than the first) and aching legs (debunked: I’d trained leg day the day before my first ever run). I also improved my overall placing; I finished 469 out of 920.

My run from Saturday, September 13, 2014, completed in a time of 35m08s.  The North Beach Parkrun goes from Suncoast Casino, along the Golden Mile, to what is now "New Beach" and back.
My run from Saturday, September 13, 2014, completed in a time of 35m08s. The North Beach Parkrun goes from Suncoast Casino, along the Golden Mile, to what is now “New Beach” and back.

I’m scared that — *shudder* — I might actually be starting to like this whole running tomfoolery. So much so that I’ve set myself a little goal for the next 5 weeks:

100km in five weeks. That's the goal. 20km a week, over three runs (Parkrun 5km, and two 7.5km runs).
100km in five weeks. That’s the goal. 20km a week, over three runs (Parkrun 5km, and two 7.5km runs).

If you are so included, join me on Nike+ (username: mattthewsavides) and follow my progress.

If you have any advice, tips, or nice (easy, preferably) routes for me to do in Durban, please let me know in the comments below.

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