More wine (but not so much whine) than running

Friday 6 February 2015

Training for Rome Marathon (for real this time)

Week 4 of 10: Day 23

43 days to go


So I didn’t run yesterday. Nor did I go to gym. Nor did I walk the dog, water the garden, make supper … I’m not sure what I did. I was zombie-like from lack of sleep – again.

I baked a cake. When I woke up this morning, this was the task I set myself for the day. My awesome, sexy, beautiful, bright red KitchenAid has been standing on the kitchen counter since before Christmas. It had been a surprise gift from the Significant Other and when it was delivered to my door I was more excited than a 50s housewife could have been. I unpacked it, took its picture and posted it on Facebook, where it got many, many envious likes. And I haven’t used it once.

So my ambition for Thursday was to bake a cake. And so I baked a cake. Which was when I decided that we need a new oven. The glorious KitchenAid whipped up a silky-smooth, golden batter in mere minutes, without a drop of my own elbow grease being expended. But it all went to hell, as it often does, when it came to the baking. The oven door’s hinges are slack, so the oven doesn’t reach the correct temperature, and it heats unevenly, burning the stuff on the right hand side of the rack and leaving it raw on the other side. And the outside of the cake is a bit crispy, rather than soft. But it was a good cake, anyway – if you ate around the crispy crust.

The new KitchenAid's first cake

The new KitchenAid’s first cake

After the cake baking and kitchen tidy the day kind of slipped away. Like mercury. One moment I had loads of time and then, once I had fetched The Kid from school and had gone to Woolworths, time had simply glooped through the hourglass, landed heavily in the bottom bowl and left not a trickle in the top.

There was an 80s Remix concert at GrandWest to get to. It started at seven – way too early for any adult who has even half a life to get to on time. This meant we would have had to leave home by six to arrive there by 6:30 and have time to park, say hi, get drinks, and make our way to the Golden Circle. That meant getting ready by 5:30, which was around the time that I realised that Sam hadn’t been taken for a walk yet and that the Significant Other wasn’t going to get home from work on time for us to make it to the show on time. And I didn’t really want to go, feeling all zombielike, and all.

But it turned out to be a fairly fun night. I had a packet of Lays for supper, though, and three double Gordon’s Gin and tonics in plastic tubs. Not high in nutrition and not great for someone who is supposedly on a marathon training programme. Having all that alcohol inside of me meant that I slept better than I have in a long time. But it also means that I didn’t feel any better or any more productive today than I would have had I had my usual sleepless night on the couch. And, kind of like a drug addict, I think, I was suffering from run withdrawal, laced with a dose of guilt for having missed my scheduled 7 km run yesterday.

The weekend’s running is going to be difficult to fit in, especially if I don’t get some sleep. I’m meant to photograph a kiddy’s birthday party on Saturday and, as with all of these things, what I thought was to be a few snappies of the family and a few babies at a first birthday party has turned into a massive gathering of 70 adults and 30 children, and my expected arrival time is getting earlier and earlier. It was ten o’clock, then it became 9:30. Now it’s 9:00 am. So there goes my chance of hiking up the mountain with Embark Training. There goes my chance of a long run in the morning. Even doing the parkrun at 8:00 is going to be impossible.

It’s Firstborn Daughter’s birthday tea with the grandparents in the afternoon, and I have to fetch her cake in Lakeside. So, straight after the baby birthday shooting I have to head to Lakeside to fetch the cake. If I time it right and don’t get snarled in traffic, I will get back in time to set out the goodies befor ethe old folks arrive. Then, straight after waving old folks off, it will be time to drop The Kid at the boyfriend and head out to Claremont for another birthday braai. No time for a dogwalk and no time for a run.

Empty calories by the bucket load and wine, wine and more wine. A whole lot more wine than running.

Sunday is another birthday party – for a two-year-old this time – and dinner with a friend who is in town for the weekend. More empty calories, more wine, still no running!

But I did eventually manage to run this evening. It was quite late and I had a list of excuses starting to hatch in my mind – one of them being that it was getting too late. But I talked myself into going. In fact, I even played the motivational video on YouTube while I got into my running gear. A bit naff, I know, but you’ve got to do what gets you out the door and your feet pounding the pavement.

The first few steps hurt – my knee complained, a muscle in my calf voiced a protest, and then my ankle chimed in to complete the chorus. But it was as if the aches were on the periphery; outside of me, somehow. All I thought was, ‘Ah, I know you …’ And then I carried on running, without allowing them to distract me. As my body warmed up and I eased into the motion of running, the aches disappeared, and it was just me running along Green Point Main Road – doing something I never imagined I would feel confident enough to do.


My mind seems to have given up the fight. It seems to have been beaten into submission. It sits there, quietly, going along for the ride, instead of nagging protests and discouragement all the way.


Of course, it hasn’t really given up the fight. It’s just become a bit smarter. It keeps quiet now until I’ve done some distance. Then it starts to tell me that I have reached my limit. This is as fit as you are, it will tell me, this is as far as you can run … it’s time to walk … go on, take a little break … conserve your energy, you have a long way to go.


But, all in all, perseverance has paid off. The run, 7.6 km of it, wasn’t the usual battle of me vs myself. The business of running is getting easier. The business of getting into my gear and getting out the door … well … that still remains a bit of a challenge.


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