Running On Empty: 26 days to go

First published in Pennine Lancashire 10K run Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Sports editor

IT'S less than a month before the Lancashire Pennine 10K and my training - much like Ronaldo - has taken a dive.

It was all going so well a few weeks ago.

If you read my last blog, you'd know I tackled the full 10K for the first time, and completed the course in 54 minutes.

I followed this up with another 10K a week later - this time at 6am! Yes, that's 6am! I dragged these ageing bones out of bed and ran for a full hour around the hills of Cliviger, passing the occasional milkman and drunk on his way to Wetherspoons for 'breakfast'.

All I needed was a fine tune-up before the big race, and I should breeze round the course in Blackburn town centre.

But then it struck. Call it complacency. Call it over-confidence. I'd call it plain laziness.

The training has ground to a halt.

At first I was hit by what athletes call a bad case of the BGTs.

It was serious and lasted a whole week.

Yes, I couldn't run at all because Britain's Got Talent was on live every night!

Work. Britain's Got Talent. Bed. Winning formula.

The morning after BGT's grand finale, myself and Sharon jetted off for a well-earned break in Portugal, where the temperature reached 85 degrees.

I'd like to say I was out on the beach every day, clocking up the miles. I like to say I ate salads. I'd like to say only lemonade passed my lips.

I'd like to say all those things, but regular readers of this blog know only too well I lay on the beach getting burnt to a crisp, drank copious amounts of Super Bock and scoffed a load of steaks.

I'd lost half-a-stone with all this running lark, but two weeks of inactivity has seen a couple of pounds sneak back on.

The big race starts three weeks on Sunday, and I've got to get down to some serious training to get back on track.

But then again, there's the little matter of the World Cup ... they may have to drag me around that 10K course.

If you can sponsor me, I'm running for East Lancashire Hospice - a fantastic cause. Please log on to my Just Giving page and make a donation online - every penny will make a difference: So please click on www.justgiving.com/paul-plunkett

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