Tagged marathon

Dear number 3309

Dear marathon number. Melbourne Marathon Number 3309.

I had high hopes for us. With complete confidence I applied for you as soon as the virtual ticket booth opened. I worked hard. I was running at extremely early times on extremely cold mornings. I had a training plan that I was sticking to. I was exceeding my targets and was on track to give you a wee-bit-of-a-faster-run than what my preceding marathons numbers have experienced.

But things changed. Due to some unforeseen circumstances, I had to make the call. I had to ask them not to send you. I had to tell them you wouldn’t be needed. It wasn’t an easy decision to make. It broke my heart.

I had hoped that you’d be allocated to deserving runner. A runner ready to take you to that start line, where the oxymoronic mix of nerves and excitement is so thick in the air, it’s like a psychedelic rainbow snaking its way through the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd of runners. Where the music is playing, people are stretching, hugging their loved ones, taking selfies, doing warm up runs; many are on their third trip to the porta-loos.

I wanted you to go to someone who would allow you, number 3309, to soak up the atmosphere that is the Melbourne marathon. A runner that would proudly pin you to his or her most chafe-friendly running top and take you on the 42.2 kilometre journey. Firstly, hopping up and around other runners, comrades, not quite keeping the same step as you; to the point where the cluster starts to stretch out a little and you find your stride. I wanted you to go through the drink stations and hear the unique tinging and tapping of the plastic cups hitting the ground; to the seemingly long and lonely stretches of Beaconsfield and Marine Parade, where the energy and excitement seems to dull, feet seem to be hit the ground a little harder and the faces of other runners show the mind’s wrestle between determination and regret (and in most cases, determination has the upper hand).

I wmarathon-numberanted you to see the people lining St Kilda road, the children selflessly handing out lollies to weary competitors rather than scoffing them all themselves, the signs people hold up to push you just a little more, the random people clapping and telling you what a good job you’ve done. On the chest of your runner, curving around past Federation Square, I wanted you to feel the lift, the slight straightening out, as pride and self-belief resurrects: so close now, so close now.

And then, number 3309, the MCG appears and the step of your runner, somehow, just gets a little faster and the noise just gets a little louder. Already-finished competitors are making their way back to their cars, to cafes, to pubs with their in-awe family quizzing them about their accomplishment. Their finishers medal proudly beating against their number as they walk, or hobble, along.

3309, if things had have gone to plan you would have made it into the MCG with me, possibly a little weather beaten, a pin or two missing, creases indicating my fatigued posture.  You would have been photographed with me, arms raised as high as I could manage crossing the finishing line. You might have even caught a tear or two, as for whatever reason I cry every single time.

But it didn’t end up like that. For some administrative reason, you weren’t assigned to another eager participant. You ended up in the letterbox of this tired runner who had decided this was not the year to do the Melbourn marathon.

But has it been so bad?

To be continued…

Why being lazy (and watching the Bachelor) is ok. For now.

It’s the second day of spring. The sun is shining and for the first time in what feels like eternity I don’t have to dress like an eskimo to leave the house. I’m pretty sure we have been in the double-digits-of-degrees every day this week. Yippie-yi-yay, am I right?

I took my group training session this morning and the gals were on fire. Everyone looked like they had pocketed the early signs of spring and popped it in their step. They did jumping lunges and sprints, squat jumps and push ups like they were gearing up for Tokyo 2020.

Despite their infectious energy and enthusiasm, when I got home I slipped into my trackiest of trackies and ate lunch (which started off with tofu and finished with chocolate), while propped on the couch (I never eat on the couch!). I watched 2 episodes of The Bachelor and one episode of Offspring. I sorted some washing and did some ironing, and for that I feel like a hero.

Laziness has me in her grasp, and has for a week or two.

 

 

video games

My fitness professional brain says “just do something – a light walk, a gentle ride, a short run, swim a few laps….”

My laziness-possessed brain says “nah stuff it.”

I’ll go to bed tonight, like I have every night this week, declaring to get up early, spend some time on my wind trainer, do a light weights session and/or test out my injury-riddled body with a short run. But I’ll wake up tomorrow, like I have every “tomorrow” of the last fortnight, with a blanket of slight depression wrapped around me, untempted by the carrot of the fresh morning air, the endorphins buzzing through my body, the potential feeling of wellness and clear-headedness and the knowing that energy breeds energy and it will set me up in good stead for the day.

It’s not fitness instructory of me to admit to this laziness.

But it is human. I’m sure it has happened to anyone reading this post at some point.

There are a whole bunch of reasons that this could be happening. And there’s a bunch of reasons I’m kind of ok with it.

 

1) I’m vitamin D deprived: For someone who usually feels the cold, I handled the Winter of 2016 pretty well. The first 8 weeks of it anyway. I felt like I shivered my way to the Winter finish line. So now I’m tired, lethargic and I’m overeating. From a Chinese medicine perspective this is a thing. Our bodies can get too much of one element and cause disease or illness and/or; our bodies can’t cope with an abrupt change in weather. Either way, forcing myself to do some gruelling fitness session may not be the answer right now. To get back on track, I’m thinking it may be as simple as soaking some of this welcome-back sunshine into my skin.

2) I’m keeping a virus hostage: For this I bear no medical knowledge, other than knowing my body pretty well. Touchwood, I’ve been super lucky this Winter. Many friends, clients and acquaintances of mine have been struck down with some pretty horrid lugies. Thankfully, in my household our Kleenex supply-demand ratio has stayed pretty consistent with any other time of the year. But with this lack of energy and a sore throat that crops up every couple of weeks, I can’t help but think that a bug set up camp in my innards and is just waiting for the right time to pounce. If my suspicions are correct, it’s probably all the more important to not push myself too hard physically and instead focus on getting plenty of sleep, water and good nutrients into me.

3) I’m adjusting my sails: I’m a goal setter. And it takes a fair bit for me to swallow my pride and back out of those goals. I often respond with shock, awe, admiration and jealousy when people say, of their once set goals (particularly of the physical variety): “No I’m not doing it now…” or “…I just changed my mind.”

It drains me mentally, emotionally and physically to readjust my goal posts.

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I run the Melbourne marathon every year. And in recent times I have declared that if I run it every year for the next 4, I will become a “Spartan” (someone who has run 10 Melbourne marathons) in the same year that I turn 40. But after being diagnosed with a disc bulge in my neck earlier in the year, the long training runs mean putting extra time and energy into the pain management of that. I’m actually handling that side of things pretty well (and in fact, have been running the best I have in years) but two weeks ago my hip started giving me grief. I just don’t think I can handle having another thing to ice, anti-inflam, stretch, heat, massage or needle! I’m starting to weigh up if that Spartan goal is as significant as it once was and if there might be something as equally as fulfilling, but less taxing on my body. This soul searching and decision making apparently needs to take place on the couch. In front of D grade reality drama television shows.

4) I’m gathering stones: The Byrds sang it: “To every season … turn turn turn… a time to plant, a time to reap, a time to kill, a time to heal…” Unless I start digging up past series’ of the Bachelor – Australian and American – and my trackies become my “Sunday best”, I’m thinking this is just a little time for me to heal. I’m taking it as an opportunity to re-evaluate, reenergise and re-motivate myself with new goals and new routines. “… a time to build up…a time to cast stones..  a time to gather stones together…”

With the combo of all of that, it’s little wonder I can’t get my butt of the couch (that, and I just can’t pick if Richie will choose Alex, Faith or Nikki). In any case, I know it’s not long term. I’m confident that some time in the coming week when my laziness-possessed brain suggests that I stay in bed, my rested body will answer “Nah stuff it. Let’s go!”

 

(But if you don’t see me around… please send in some help for an intervention).

Not everyone wants to run a marathon. And that’s ok.

In my little bubble of a world, people do crazy things – they get up at what often seems like the middle of the night to take on massive physical tasks before most people have even kicked off the doona. In my world, doing more than 1 hour of exercise a day isn’t extreme or obsessive it is quite literally, all in a day’s work.

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Why I run (when I’m not particularly good at it).

I’ve just come home from a 23 km run jog plod. I got up at 4:50am to start, in a bid to beat the horrendous Victorian weather expected this weekend and so I would be finished in time to do regular family stuff.

The 23kms took me 2 hours and 34 mins. Anyone familiar with long distance running would probably, and rightfully so, regard that as a pretty slow pace.

I’m no superstar runner. And I’m not new to it either. I have been running since my mid-twenties (I’m now mid-thirties) and have trudged my way through 6 marathons.

I haven’t gotten any faster. I haven’t lost any weight. It’s stupidly cold at this time of year. My toenails feel like they’ve been trodden on by a Clydesdale. There's a good chance I’ll become incontinent before I’m 50 and (if I listen to my mother), I’ll be lame by 60.

AND running actually feels like an incredibly unnatural thing for me to do.

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