Baby's first run: Louise Bruton prepares for her first 5k

It's three weeks until Louise Bruton braves the 5k Dublin Pride Run for the first time. Here's how she's prepping for the big day.

Lining up three shots of ginger, lemon and cayenne pepper on my kitchen counter — one for each morning to bring me up to the weekend —  you’d be forgiven for thinking that I was the picture of wellness. While I am in fact preparing for the 5K Dublin Pride Run on June 21st, I am also balancing music festivals every other weekend and recuperating from a heavy wedding. A heavy wedding that saw the final few sitting in a bath — including the bride in her gorgeous white gúna — draining the remnants of a bottle of champagne until seven in the morning, solving the world’s problems.

The new-fangled version of wellness is obviously not something that takes priority in my life but I have been making concentrated efforts to not die from a heart attack recently and running is a proper attempt at living a slightly longer life. This run is my first ever attempt at doing a run, mostly because I’m a wheelchair user and running isn’t something we tend to do but there also comes a time in your life (READ: your 30s) when you consider vomiting on a finish line instead of a toilet bowl as a mark of progress.

First timers

A bunch of us first timers (plus one seasoned marathon runner) have signed up for the Friday night Pride Run together and to reward our diligence for taking part, we’re going to Body & Soul on Saturday morning, aching limbs and all, to dance until sunrise. You see, it’s all about striking a balance and our little fitfam (lol) WhatsApp group is currently warming up to the suggestion of taking this seriously. Three of us are already subscribers to the pre-work, Early Morning Swim Club and we repeat the mantra “you never regret a swim” to lessen the nauseating thud of our alarm clocks. But to run is a bigger deal — there’s a definite start and finish line, whereas in the pool, no one can really tell precisely how many laps you’ve achieved in 30 minutes. It’s your word against the water’s.

At the moment, our training schedule is mostly joking about our forthcoming training schedule. We know that the training has to begin at some point (maybe next week?) and our current prep work is to limit our regular cigar intake to just half a cigar before we get on our marks on June 21st. We haven't quite figured out the logistics of running the course in a wheelchair — the Phoenix Park has the odd hill to overcome — but we've taken on the muddy fields of festivals all across the land, so we're no strangers to struggle in the name of craic.

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Knowing the fun we’re fully capable of on the dance floor or in a field together, doing this as a team of mates seems like the right way to get the job done. Turning fitness into fun is how you trick kids into enjoying PE in school and that’s what you have to do to certain adults too. And like children, we need to work towards a prize, that prize being 1) the satisfaction in actually getting up off our arses and doing something for the greater good, 2) going to Body & Soul to undo all that hard work and 3) the braggado we’ll carry with us for the next few weeks. “Oh, you know that 5K for charity that I ran the night before going to Body & Soul..?”

The Pride run

The reason we chose the Pride Run as our first is that it’s one of the first events to kick off the ten days of Dublin’s LGBTQ Pride Festival and the run itself is raising money for Belongto, ShoutOut and HIV Ireland, three organisations that are very close to our hearts. Plus, five kilometres is a doddle… right? You’d do that at a festival without giving it a second thought, running from your tent to the bar to the main stage. That’s how we measure great distances, you see; festival sites. On the smaller end of the scale, it’s Castlepalooza, which would equate a short jog on a summer's eve, on the middle of the scale it’s Body & Soul, which is why this double pairing works so well for us, and then at the large end of the scale is Electric Picnic and we are in no way ready for the Dublin Marathon, the Electric Picnic of Irish marathons. Even though one member of our crew has run the Dublin Marathon twice, the rest of us have to take baby steps. We have to crawl before we can run.

Plus, the slogan for this year’s run is “We are the Champions’” and as we make our way down to Ballinlough for our smug, congratulatory lap, that’s what we’ll keep telling ourselves and anyone else who will listen. Registered and ready to go, we'll definitely be on the training path by this time next week. Probably. Hopefully.

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