We are now six weeks out from the Great Ocean Road Ultra Half Marathon. 23 kilometres of up, up, up, down, up, down, up, down, level.
A few weeks ago I ran 12.5 kilometres and was so chuffed with myself for breaking the mental barrier of 'half the half' and yet nobody pointed out to me until I crossed the finish line that my maths was fundamentally flawed and I could have turned around at 11.5 kilometres to achieve that same mental breakthrough.
And now I've run 14 kilometres. And ran all the way. I'm experimenting with gels and honey shots and water loading and breakfast types in a way which makes me feel that I should have tried party drugs when I was younger, because if the rumours are true, a dose of ecstasy would be the best of all things to keep me running for the entire 23 kilometres.
Because nothing is worse than wondering if it's gas or something more as you shuffle forward like a lecherous old man with an attractive nurse in his sights, miles from any kind of acceptable toileting system. So far, unattractively, it's only been gas, but I've heard the stories about when it's not. And I only have one pair of running pants - I can't afford to go down that path.
This weekend just gone I did the Lindfield Fun Run. It wasn't the easiest run but ultimately, depending on how fast you ran, it was just 30-90 minutes of running up extremely steep hills and swearing a lot. Which doesn't really equate to the hardships endured by Shackleton and his mob as they plodded towards whichever Pole it was. Though, they probably went faster. Even when they got stuck in the ice.
|The best looking of my running group|
(it's okay nobody reads my blog - they'll never know I said this)
Our coach Christie is a professional athlete. This means she gets paid to exercise and people give her pants to wear so if she does ever discover that it's more than gas, she has a spare pair of pants. The downside is she has to take exercise seriously every day and be mindful and healthy and all that kind of stuff constantly.
She's been recovering from a 'career impeding' injury and just this weekend returned to professional competitions. She aced it of course (bar almost forgetting to actually cross the finish line) but I have noted that none of her thank you essays have included adequate homage to the power of profanity. I consider this a serious flaw in her coaching technique despite my overall admiration for her.
Positive mantras be damned. I run along thinking 'Fuck cancer', 'Fuck cancer', 'Fuck cancer'.
Not because I'm noble. Not because I hate that it affects my friends and family. But mainly because if cancer didn't exist, I wouldn't have to fucking run.
That's altruism for you.
So if you're in Sydney this weekend, and you want to join me for a 16 kilometre run, I'm the chubby one at the back uttering profanities. Hopefully high.