Getting the week started

Monday 16 February 2015

Training for Rome Marathon (for real this time)

Week 6 of 10: Day 25

33 days to go

I had a pleasant surprise this morning: I had thought I had 30 days to go before the marathon, but I had counted incorrectly somewhere along the line. I have 33 days to go. In fact, when I clicked on the Maratona di Roma website, it told me I had 34 days to go … and one minute and some seconds. The minute and seconds have since ticked away, and I now have 33 days to go. I had better not stare at the screen any longer, in case day number 33 also evaporates.

It may not seem like much, but there was some angst involved in having only 30 days – exactly a month – to go before lining up and showing what I’ve got (or not got).

But, whether it’s 30 days or 33, there is no more time for jacking around. No time for injury, no time for getting sick, no time for one glass of wine too many, to time for skipping a training session and saying ‘tomorrow’. Nothing can be done about the time that’s passed. I can only tackle each day as it comes.

So this morning started with a 6:30 Pilates class at the gym. I’m not too sure how I feel about it. It seemed a bit of a waste of time. Maybe I’m not doing the exercises correctly, but I do recall Pilates classes being quite tough, and really working the core. This instructor seems to do a whole lot of nattering and explaining and giving various options of how else one can do the exercise. And she likes to show how terribly clever is is by explaining what moves she’s combined to give you this particular move that works your intercostals and deltoids and glutes and lats and quads all in one. I don’t care! I don’t care about what thought you’ve put into the choreography – I just want to feel my abs working, okay?!

Anyway, I’ll give this lady’s class one more go on Wednesday. If I don’t like the class, I’ll choose something else. As it is, I feel I need to get back to gym this evening to do something that creates the impression of making a difference.

I headed off for a slow 5 km run after the Pilates class, strolling towards Green Point Park while waiting for my Garmin’s GPS to find me, and enjoying the lack of urgency and pressure of a Monday morning with no work lined up. Once through the park gates, I found it quite difficult to get running. It was such an amazing morning and it felt so good to just be there, to just be walking instead of trying to pick up the pace and sweating my way through it. The park is a wonderful sanctuary where city noise melts away and turns into the sounds of rustling reeds, gentle breezes and birdsong. Instead of holding on to worries and pressure, the mind gives way to taking in blue skies and green trees reflected in shimmering pools of water. So peaceful. Windstill, cool and quiet, with only the sounds of the seagulls taking a bath amongst the water lilies and the reeds. The morning sun stroked a beautiful golden light over the landscape and the air lay cool against my skin.

Wishing I had my camera with me, I strolled about taking a few reflection snaps with my cellphone. Then I slowly headed out the gate and walked towards the lighthouse. Time to start running. My hips were feeling a bit sore from Pilates and I felt a bit heavy. Mostly I felt a bit bored. Kind of, oh, ho-hum, do I have to do this? Just lazy, I guess. But there’s no time for lazy now.


Lion"s Head reflected in the water in Green Point Park.

Lion”s Head reflected in the water in Green Point Park.

Waterwheel in Green Point Park

Waterwheel in Green Point Park

I ran at a slow 6:47 minutes per kay, ran the second kay a little bit faster, flagged a bit on three, still thinking, ugh, ho-hum, and telling myself to shut up and get on with it. Maybe that stroll through the park wasn’t such a great idea. I should have just set off running – I would have had an extra kilometre under the belt by then as well. Kilometre five I ran at 5:49. I had had enough. It was time to get home.

It’s supposed to be a rest day, anyway. But I’m not doing rest days anymore. Except maybe on Fridays. I don’t know whose opinion I had read, but it made sense – some guy who said he doesn’t agree with rest days. Skipping one day makes it too easy to skip the next, and then the next, and before you know it, a week has gone by. So even if you run only a kilometre or two, or go to gym, or do some other form of exercise, you must get out there every day and do something.

So I got out there this morning and did something.


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