Alter Ego: “Run time”
Me: “Do I really have to?”
Alter Ego: “What do you think? Half Marathon in ten days”
Me: “But my knee still twinges from Monday’s run”
Alter Ego: “A twinge is just that: a twinge. Quit whining.”
Me: “And it’s so cold”
Alter Ego: “So go put on another layer.”
Me: “And those winds by the coast …they’re strong!”
Alter Ego: “You’ll cope. This is Malta. Not Alaska.”
Me: “Why am I even doing the Half? Pfff.”
Alter Ego: “It’s like KL said: you’re actually training for the Half Mara dinner and drinks that night.”
Me: “Ok, ok, guess I’d better head.”
Alter Ego: “You still here then?”
If you read Mother Loses Her Running Mojo, you’ll know that I fell off the running wagon towards the end of 2013. I’m not sure I’m fully back on but 1st Jan 2014, I took the bull by the horns and headed out for my first 10k in ages. Then, I fell on my laptop keyboard the other day (yeah, keeps happening) and accidentally registered for the Malta Half Marathon again. And this time, I think I should set myself some rules:
1. I must actually train for it this time. Putting in one 16k run as a last minute training effort – after nine months of a 10k here and there – and then showing up and running 21k on race day sure made a great dinner party story last year. But it was a kamikaze move and one best not repeated.
2. I probably shouldn’t get carried away during training runs, singing to the tunes playing in my ears. Mouthing the words to Kings of Leon’s Supersoaker, punching the air to Stereophonics’ Dakota, speeding up like a maniac to Faithless’s Insomnia and grinning from ear to ear to Timbaland’s Scream, apparently surprises and confuses all who drive or walk past me. (Am doing a mental eye-roll here because clearly these people have no soul.)
3. I must not stare open-mouthed at the very fit guy (as in healthy fit…what did you think I meant?) often seen running along the coast road near my house, with nothing but a bare chest (please God, may he have discovered tshirts now it’s January), ridiculous abs and er…can’t remember anything else because he was too fast and anyway I wasn’t looking…all that much…I swear…honest. Mental note to self: staring is rude and last time you gawped Prabs, you fell into the road and into the path of an oncoming cyclist who was none too impressed.
4. I must figure out why the following happens – and do something about it – when I go above 11k: umpteen trips to the bathroom afterwards (and I don’t mean to floss), feeling like I’m going to vomit, two hours of shivers, weakness to the point where I can hardly stand straight and a flu-like feeling and I won’t even mention my painful feet – oh, I just did.
5. I must find a pair of sports sunglasses more suited to the size of my face instead of the three pairs of gigantic ones I own, which make me look like a fly and lead others to wonder if the runner is wearing the glasses or if the glasses are wearing the runner.
6. I need to practise in front of the mirror every day to be less like my grimacing “somebody pick me up and carry me the rest of the way because I can’t take it anymore” self and more like the guys behind me in this pic. Seriously, how the heck are they managing to even breathe at this 19km point let alone laugh and chat? Have to admit….I’m still enjoying the fact that they’re BEHIND me in this pic though 😉
7. I must try not to grunt Williams sisters stylie…yes yes they’re amazing sportswomen but it’s so unladylike and at least in their case, they’ve earned the right to grunt. Mais moi? I’m not sure putting one foot in front of the other and repeating that at a slow speed for several miles is really grunt-worthy.
8. I need to remember I can eat carbs like a fiend! It may be January, the month of “blimey, how much did I eat at Christmas? I must go low carb with my eating habits” but I can carb it up for the next few weeks. Yay…does nutella on crusty Maltese bread count?
9. I must strap a baby travel potty to my rear, come 23rd Feb, because needing the toilet 90 seconds into the half mara last year was no joke.
10. Last but not least: I NEED TO ENJOY IT. Judging by the weird dream I had last night, clearly I’m not as relaxed about it as I think I am. Here’s the thing:
I haven’t had a dream in years. Yet I dreamed that my mate Karly ran the race with me (hilarious as I’m fairly sure she’s doesn’t even own a pair of running shoes because they don’t come in a rainbow of colours on the one pair) but she kept delaying me. First she bumped into a friend along the way and stopped to chat (anyone who knows Karly knows that this is entirely plausible) so I stopped with her and could feel myself getting mightily stressed but just smiled politely at her friend, silently willing the pair of them to shut up so Karly and I could get back to the race. Then she had to drop off art supplies to her friend Dylan (for God’s sake: I’ve never even MET Dylan so what the frig am I doing dreaming about him and what the hell was Karly doing running with a load of art supplies in her arms?!). Then we got lost and took several detours (anyone who’s ever run an official race knows this is virtually impossible as they’re always well marked. Oh hang on, I got lost at a race last Sunday… Aaaaah….So THAT’S why I’m paranoid now). Then the unwanted icing on the cake was that we couldn’t find the finish line (yep you read that right) and somehow ran past it, around it and a bloody eternity later, thankfully through it. I actually woke up pretty vexed at Karly this morning before eventually accepting somewhere around lunchtime that it WAS only a dream after all.
To all you doing the full marathon, half marathon and walkathon, have a good one!
AMENDMENT TO ORIGINAL POST:
So after publishing the above post last night, I’ve just met Dylan for the first time…and he is actually a she! Was telling a good friend of Karly, who works at my regular cafe hang out, about this post and about Dylan…at which point she said “that’s me! I’m Dylan”. Love it.
I just don’t understand what’s going on with me and the running at the moment. I know it’s common to fall off the exercise wagon and often find it hard to motivate yourself. But I’ve fallen off it so badly this time I don’t think I can even see the wagon anymore.
I made myself go for a run this morning and did something I’ve never done before and turned back so by the time I was done I’d only run just over 4 miles.
I started running in April 2012 and hit my first 8k just over a month later (which was great as I could barely run for 2 minutes on my first outing and am not exactly a spring chicken). And from that very first run, the days of me saying “Man why do so many people run? It’s soooo boring, I’d just fall asleep if I did it” were over in a flash and it was more “I need to go for a run or I’ll go mad”. And when my hardcore running friends said “your body’s built for this”, I thought “wow…I’ve found my thing”.
I’m NOT a hardcore runner but race-wise, somehow I’ve managed to run a half-marathon (with next to no training), win my category in a horrible 8-miler (my friends already heard this story but I’m so gonna have to share it with you too one of these days) and do a couple of 10k’s.
I’ve made myself endure the intense Mediterranean heat etc and even shocked myself and my husband to pieces by getting up early to run before starting the day. I’ve often fallen out of the habit for mainly child care related reasons…but I’ve always managed to get back into it and happily run 14k’s on my own without needing the motivation of other runners accompanying me.
But these last 2 months…I’ve truly hit a wall. I still haven’t registered for the 2014 Half Mara or even the Mdina to Spinola 17k 22nd December…that’s less than a month away! “ It’s too hot.” “It’s too sunny.” “It’s too cold.” “It’s too windy.” “I’m too tired.” “I haven’t drunk enough water.” “I don’t think I’ve eaten enough carbs.” Yada yada yada.
Some of my running friends often post up fab motivational stuff on their social media to help their fellow runners find that drive on those dark days. I so need to read some of them again to give me a much-needed kick up the backside. In the meantime, I’m cheering myself up with these brilliant ‘running commandments’ from the FB page Life In The Day Of a Runner:
Just realised our Ladies’ Night ’12 Pubs of Christmas Pub Crawl’ is on 21st December. Oh gosh, it looks like I can’t make that 17k anyway…