Give Me Five

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Week two of training, and this writer’s mission to transform herself from Couch Potato to Running Mann continues, with a bid to nail a never-before-achieved 5K. And we’re not even talking pay rises.

This running lark is certainly a learning curve. The latest thing I’ve learned is that attempting to run whilst a) mildy hungover b) shattered from a silly o’clock start and c) with a nervous system in disarray from the stress-fest that is a child’s dancing competition is Not A Good Thing. (Trust me, ballet mums make the hockey/soccer variety look like lightweights.)


The offending iPod – and some of the stuff I should have been listening to

I was out of breath just tying up my shoelaces. And things went from bad to worse when I got to the gym to find that the only treadmill free was next to a bionic blonde who clearly moonlights as a supermodel. Can’t they keep these depressing people away from us mere mortals?

But by far the biggest problem was the music situation. Just before leaving the house, I discovered that my iPod wasn’t charged, so I borrowed my 10 year old’s shuffle instead. How bad could her music be, I thought? (Answer: very).

Instead of AC/DC’s entire back catalogue, interspersed with a bit of Kiss and Metallica for variety, the first “tune” on Mann Junior’s iPod was…Barbra Streisand by Duck Sauce. A song I would normally be desperate to run 100 miles to avoid. It didn’t get much better for the next half an hour. The upside? I was so busy cringing at the music it distracted me from the agony of running. And I managed my first 5K.

I’ll be honest, the last 500m nearly finished me off. On a scale of one to childbirth, it was pretty close to the latter – and at least they give you drugs for that. It wasn’t pretty – by the end I was blowing harder than the English front row – but I kept going.

“Listen to your body,” cautioned the gym instructor, as I flailed about, gasping for oxygen. At that point, my body was telling me to stop running, sit down and swig Sancerre, but luckily I didn’t have the breath to tell him.

“Why are you doing this?” asked one of the Muffia (School Mum Mafia), seeing me limp towards the gates at pick-up this week. Good question. I’m doing this to help raise funds for Hand in Hand for Haiti – a supremely worthy cause that has prompted even me to attempt what I previously thought was impossible. I am running to help contribute towards the wonderful school that is being built, which will give hundreds of children the chance of a future. Something every child on this planet deserves.

Please help me. Run with me if you can; sponsor a runner if you can’t. Or do both! You can do this via the Moodie Multi-National Marathon fundraising site,, the place to go to register a team, pay the race entry fee, set up targets, sponsor other runners or make a general donation.

Next week, I’ll be channelling Top Gun. All together now: “I feel the need, the need for speed…”

(Rebecca Mann’s individual donation page can be found at

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