9th March 2015
I wonder if you can help me? I have come to a realisation that my running blog features much animal madness and wine yet little running. So, today, because I haven’t been running for a whole week, and therefore have no running anecdotes to offer, it seems I have a burning desire to turn my attention to the real purpose of this blog. If that makes any sense to you, please let me know. (If you are a counsellor wishing to offer your services, please see my last post: sorry, I have no money to pay you). (Plus, despite having no money, SheScience has an offer on valid only today, and I really want to try one of their bras…).
The thing is, the week off from running has left me with more time on my hands. Which has meant that I’ve had more time to engage with my FB stream, so now I’m very aware of the pictures and posts of all the runners that I follow. And as a result I’m in meltdown, because they’re all out running and I’ve been sitting on my arse feeling exhausted and fretting about whether my sore throat is going to turn into something. (I have a perma-throat: it’s sore 90% of the time, I think). But I am 100% hypochondriac, so best just to ignore me anytime I mention it.
Did I mention I’m writing this with ear plugs in? Doodles is outside the backdoor. He and Gracie-Boo were fighting inside, so Hubby (aka Mr Grumpy) turfed them out the back. Except that now Dexter has realised he is separated from a human by more than the thickness of his skin, so he’s just sitting crying plaintively at the backdoor. Thus I have taken preventative action. All I can hear is the blood pumping in my ears. And high-pitched whimpering…
So, March is when the real Comrades training starts apparently. The mileage ramps up, and judging by my scouring of FB, South Africa is hosting about 5 marathons per weekend around the country, so all the locals who will be running Comrades are out pounding the pavements around various conurbations. Getting in the distance with bling at the end of it! Do you detect the envy seeping off the page? Well, you should. Because that would be my nirvana.
I run because I love to be part of the race. No – I don’t have undisclosed talent, so my love of races is unrelated to racing. It’s a love of the buzz, the atmosphere, the support of the spectators, the the novelty of a new route, the selflessness of the volunteers and most of all the chats along the way with the other back markers like me.
Routine and repetition are anethema to me. Getting up at the crack of dawn is only compensated by the fabulous sunrises. Hill runs are only indemnified by the endorphin rush. I’m not sure speedwork has an immediate payback – simply that it is over quicker than the longer runs. And long runs, well, they should be all about being part of something. The sheer vastness of Australia means that being part of something comes at the cost of an air ticket. Not to mention the entry fee, which isn’t to be sniffed at. I saw a three day race advertised in South Africa – the total cost of all three events (totally 100km of running) is R240 ($24)!! So yes, I have a bad case of race envy.
The Boy Wonder wanted to tell you a joke about doctors:
(He was falling about laughing at this one. He even wrote it down in my diary, to make sure I remembered it right after he went to bed).
And the other reason I’d love to be part of a race is because it gives you a practice run and I guess indicates whether you’re on track or not. You get to experience the drinks tables and the food offerings that might be available on the day, so you have a chance to experiment with what works for your tummy. (It’s amazing what doesn’t work with your tummy after about 25km)! And whilst any day’s performance is always going to have an element of the unknown, there is so much more that is known if you’ve had a few dress rehearsals.
I guess what I really want is for someone to come along and say “that is enough. You have worked hard enough”. At this stage, there is still a massive question mark hanging over a lot of variables. Have I experienced enough dawn runs? Staggered up enough elevation? Sprinted fast enough over enough intervals? Run far enough? Have I pushed myself far enough beyond my comfort zone to be able to contend with the Big C? Brene Brown, I need you to tell me that I am enough. And maybe that is what this is all about: whether I, of myself, am enough. Will I have pushed through enough of my own mental barriers to do the work that will lay the foundation for achieving what, right at this moment, seems monumentally impossible. And by achieving the impossible, elevating that ever elusive self-esteem?
Well, I guess, it’s a case of stay tuned. And if you’re really lucky, you might get some more jokes from the master joke teller himself! xx