Training for the Rome Marathon: Week 2 of (ulp!) 10

Monday, 19 January 2015

Training for Rome Marathon (for real this time)

Week 2 of 10: Day 7

61 days to go

It’s amazing how much mind space this marathon occupies. It’s Monday morning and I have deadlines looming, chores to do, workmen creating dust, a kid to fetch, school stationery and books to buy – more to do than can ever be done, as Elton John sings in The Circle of Life – and, like Nicolas Cage in The Weather Man, I can’t knuckle down.

All I can think of is the Rome Marathon.

The website provides a handy counter ... right down to the last second!

The website provides a handy counter … right down to the last second!

My head is filled with thoughts of scheduling and how far behind I am, reviewing the gym’s class timetable and figuring out what crosstraining to fit in and when, diet and nutrition, feeling washed out and what to do about it, making some more (more serious) lifestyle changes, whether rest days are a necessity or a handicap, the pros and cons of GU and if not GU, then what? There are all sorts of gels but are they good for you and how many should you take and when should you take them?

What about my daughter? She loves running so much more than I do but she has done even less training than I have in the last two months. Shin splints, a foot injury compliments of the office drunk at the annual office party, physiotherapy, needling, and a virus or two have kept her off the road. I know I can walk the distance with my eyes closed, but I don’t know what kind of endurance she has managed to clock. Am I going to have to carry her? Is she going to sit down on the pavement and cry? Will 61 days be enough to see her through?

Shoes – I need new shoes! But which shoes to buy? I’ve been wearing Nike Free because those are the shoes I bought for walking. They are light and flexible and walkers need different shoes to runners. I walked the New York Marathon in them in 2013, and so they are pretty tired by now. They need to be replaced but with what? I’m thinking Newton, mainly because I am interested in barefoot running/natural running. But what if that’s a mistake? With only 61 days to go, my margin for error is non-existent. And of the 61 days, some will be spent travelling, booking into the hotel, resting … anything but getting any more training in.

Only 61 days to go … Oh my word! I should be spending three, four hours at a time on the road by now, not staggering through an hour …!

See how easily panic can settle in if you don’t do your homework on time?!

I didn’t run this morning (‘30 minutes easy’ is marked on the schedule) and so the fact that I still have to run is on my mind all the time. Ah, and I really need to get onto Busuu and learn some Italian words and phrases before I get going.

Mostly I’m thinking ‘How can I just run, walk, dance, mosaic, crochet, write, grow things and cook without having to worry about a payday?’

There’s not much of a market for someone of my running talent only starting to run now, at my age, so I’m going to have to knuckle down. Travelling to Rome to run a marathon is not paid for with pennies from my back pocket!

Anyway … went for my 30-minute light run after doing a 3 km dog walk with both dogs. Walking that mad hund of mine feels like enough of a workout, but I got the running gear on anyway and headed out at about 7 pm.


The world's cutest puppy had to be carried some of the way.

The world’s cutest puppy had to be carried some of the way.

Some strong winds blowing out there on the run and, running along the coastline, it hits you from all angles. Bliss with it at your back, somewhat harder getting a full frontal, and a bit dodgy, to say the least, when the crosswinds start shoving you towards the barriers.


Tailwind, headwind, crosswind – you get it all during one short run along the coast.


I have a new rule: I have to run further than 5 km on any training run, even if it’s 5.1 km. The negative troll in my head keeps telling me that I can barely shuffle 5 km, and I know this isn’t true. So every training run must be more than 5 km so that the negative troll can shutthefuckup. So I ran 5.7 km, stopped the Garmin, took a snappy or two of the wind on the water and took a stroll back home. Felt great after the run – better than I had felt all day.

We ended Monday – and the school holidays – with a fabulous curry dinner at the Maharaja restaurant in lower Kloof Nek. Washed it down with a rather superb Tokara Sauvignon Blanc. The washing down of food with superb wines will have to come to an end now, though, when the more Spartan regime of early to bed, early to rise, hard training and simple, nutritious foods kicks in. Today.


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