Other exercise programmes were tried. The bargain bins were scoured for cut-price DVDs that promised to make me look like Z-list starlets if I would only follow their little routines three times a week. I've done boxercise, yoga, Wiifit, Callanetics (actually I still do this occasionally), walking, cycling and trampolining. But nothing worked as well as running.
This year I didn't get sick - did the snow kill all the germs? - so I had no excuse, well once the snow was over I didn't anyway. The tracksuit was dusted down and the runners were washed and with Angel's support and encouragement I managed a slow jog around the block. A very slow jog. A project was needed, so I decided to enter my favourite race again: the 10K Dublin Women's Mini-Marathon, held in June. Plenty of time to train, or so I thought. When I tried to enter I discovered that I need to prove I can run if I want to run. If I can't prove it I won't be able to run anyway as I will have to start with the walkers. Confused? Yes, me too.
Even getting new kit for the older larger me has proved a challenge: and the mirrors in sports shops are not the type that make you look thin, nor does the stuff they sell. I finally got kitted out in something that fitted and was vaguely flattering in good old M&S.
So my big goal right now is to make the qualifying time so I can start with the runners (me competitive? not at all!). Running 10k in an hour should be easy. Twenty years ago it would have been. Now it's going to be a huge challenge. Why? Well just imagine an old fat duck running and you'll understand why... If only I'd listened to my Mum. With more sleep, less weight and no sugar, I could be quite fast. Instead my training is fuelled by Red Bull and pig-headedness. This Sunday is the Day of Reckoning when I find out just how old and fat I've become - as I attempt to complete the Great Ireland Run in under an hour. To prove I can, so I can do it all again in June... and raise some money for charity the second time around.
If you are in the Phoenix Park on Sunday and happen to be watching the race, please give me a shout, I will desperately need it. I haven't 'raced' for 6 years and only started training properly at the beginning of March. I'm terrified, mainly that I'm going to make a complete fool of myself. Watch out for the fat-looking one in the Port of Tilbury T-shirt. And looking fat is a good thing, as it means I'm running with the thin people and so might just post a respectable time....