Saturday, 31 January 2015
Training for Rome Marathon (for real this time)
Week 3 of 10: Day 18
49 days to go
This morning’s run has left me feeling kind of as one does after having a disappointing meal in a restauring – you know you’ve eaten, and you don’t feel terrible, but the chef seemed to have left out an ingredient and you still feel a bit peckish.
It was another one of those nights: The Kid had to be fetched from somewhere fairly late at night, so getting to bed early didn’t happen, and then there was the usual sleeplessness – listening to the rain, worrying about what had been left outside and was getting wet, worrying about Firstborn Daughter’s shinsplints and her new shoes and if she would be okay on the run – followed by the Significant Other getting up at 4:00 am to run a race and rummaging around in the bedroom (for ever!)to find his gear while shining a flashlight (into my eyes) instead of switching the light on so that he doesn’t disturb me.
I’m thinking I might have to get a divorce if I want to continue running. Isn’t sleep deprivation a form of torture? Quite an effective one, at that?
I had to really talk myself out of bed. There’s a line from a motivational video that rings in my ears on such mornings. He says ‘there’s a reason why you set that alarm’. Basically, you decided you wanted to train, so now get your ass out of bed and get on with the job you had set yourself. But, wow … some days that ass just can’t be hauled.
I lay on my back, one leg on the floor, an arm over my eyes, the duvet flung off to the one side, willing myself to get moving. The clock was ticking. Soon it was going to be too late to go. If I lay here just a few more minutes, it would be too late to go …!
But I got up, I turned up, I hit the road. But I felt off form. Not that I really have a form, but whatever semblance of a form I have wasn’t with me this morning.
And I needed the toilet. Right from the start. Ah man … 11.8 km of running, looking longingly at the lush shrubbery en route, some of it so thick you could live there for a week without being found, and fighting the urge to do a quick dash in and out. The run was meant to be 15 km but I just wanted it to end.
Given my lack of sleep and tired legs, I actually felt not bad. It was just this bodily function thing that completely occupied my mind.
I ran slowly at the start, and stuck behind Firstborn Daughter. She was taking it slow and I didn’t want to leave her behind. Of course, she thought I was running slowly because I couldn’t go any faster, so didn’t appreciate my random act of kindness. Ah well …
We ran up the dreaded Southern Cross Drive – the hill that separates the fit from the unfit in the Two Oceans marathon and half marathon. It’s the one everyone talks about. But it’s not so bad, really. It’s long – 2.5 km of winding hill. Dr Ross Tucker has written a useful blog about how to tackle it. Unfortunately, I came across that blog only now. But there will be a next time, I’m sure.
The sleepless night, the small bowl of soup for supper, the no breakfast this morning and the tired legs all conspired to keep me from busting a blood vessel with excitement at doing the survival shuffle to the top. But I shuffled to the top without stopping, and enjoyed the downhill towards Hohenort.
The surroundings are beautiful and the area is a runner’s dream. The quiet roads are lined with lush foliage and tall trees, and one gently rolling hill follows another. The sounds of birdsong and the smell of eucalyptus feed the soul and and one could almost fall in love with running, if one were one of those runners who had not yet established that relationship with the sport. We all know who I’m talking about.
We caught up with one of the slower runners who had done a shorter route. She was on her own and struggling. I know what that feels like, so I stuck with her a bit, coaxing her to keep moving up the hill without walking. I left her behind when we reached another downhill and her pace was just too slow for me to maintain.
And then, pretty soon, the run was over. Only about 11 km, not the 15 I was supposed to run today. And I feel kind of flat. Like I should have done more, and would have, had I not felt so uncomfortable all the way. So I’ll have to get out there again tomorrow, right, and make up the mileage?
The Significant Other, having slept well, ran his half marathon in 1:56:57.
A divorce might be in order.