Melanie on Track

Like every body who spends most of their life hunched over a desk, IMAGE's own editrix extraordinaire has her wish lists (see above). But when Melanie Morris isn't at her desk or running between meetings, she's running for fun...

"I have become obsessed with running. Always a bit of a fair weather plodder, since reading John O'Regan's tips, I've truly been bitten by the bug. And so in a bid to instantly become Jessica Ennis, I recently joined a running club.

I'm a great believer in getting out of my comfort zone, but this was something else. Pitching up, solo, in my baggy T-shirt and baseball cap, I have never felt so intimidated in my life. The rest of my fellow runners were beauties in completely unforgiving Lycra, and not much of it. The men were pretty stunning, too, but in honesty, I was too taken with the ladies to really notice them.

We did warm ups (cough) around the track. I left my hoodie very near the exit in case I needed to run around and straight out the gate again. I was last in the warm-ups. Then we were split into groups. I was in the 'beginners' group, who aim to run 3k in 13-13.5 minutes. I can do 3k in 16.5 as a personal best (about five years ago) but am currently delighted with 18.

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So, our training was eight laps of the track, with a minute rest between each lap. I was last, in every single one. I was so much slower than the others that they had actually started the minute's rest before I returned from each of my laps. Thankfully, dogged determination is a great thing, and I didn't care that I was skewing their timings, and our trainer was kind enough not to make a show of me. I was just delighted that I could complete the course, especially as the other new girl who had sprinted like a demon, gave up on round seven. I persevered out of pure stubborness and got to the end of the session.

If I stop to think about it, I am mortified. However, I will return week after week until I get to run with the pack. Wish me luck."

Well, wish we did- and we needn't have. Melanie completed the last leg of the Dublin Staff 5k relay last week with the second of the IMAGE teams in record time along with her dog, Flumpy.?

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