Saturday, March 26, 2005

Justification after the fact

Wednesday, got talked into a 10 mile race down in Folkestone. Wasn't entirely sure if this was a good idea, but it did mean that if I did it, I could skive running training all weekend (as I'd then be ahead of schedule) and go running instead.

So: Thursday had an awful day at work (the natural consequence of fitting five days into four) and then drove home, honking my horn at all and sundry. Scott was ensconsed in the passenger seat, so he could have helped with fistwaving duties, but sadly he let me down. He went off to bingo with his g/f, I tried to relax by playing mindless computer games, and then I went to bed at 7.30. What a great way to kick off the Easter weekend.

So: reveille at eight, fresh and ready for a run.

Except I woke up at eight p.m on Thursday, feeling like death and dehydrated to boot. Ate some soup (this was an awful thing that I'll detail at another time when my mind is less vulnerable to the despond I might otherwise feel) and then went to see Toby the Goth down the pub. At this point, I'm still expecting an early night to leave me fresh for Friday's exertions.

The pub was as per usual expectations. No better, no worse. Surrounded by respectable people in lycra, I quickly agreed to drive Toby the Goth to the house of Fran the Goth, and thus to a pub in Bridge for bar billiards. Drove at speed, and discovered on Stone Street the lamentable handling characteristics of front-wheel drive cars. However, we failed to die, so by half ten we were at Fran the Goth's, where I manhandled Toby the Goth's muddy bike into the shed, and T.T.G. changed into something respectable. And thence to another pub.

Bar billiards table occupied by three fat kids. Hung around until 11 to get a game. At this point, my expectations of an early night are beginning to slip away from me, but better to travel in hope than arrive in Thanet, etc etc. Finished up about 11.30, drove back to F.T.G.'s. Realised that if I was going to run the next day, would need some carbs, and there was nothing left at my gaff apart from more tinned soup. This would never do.

So... still expected that I could make it back for an early night, as long as it took less than half an hour for Fran to decipher my obfuscated request for a drink. Then spent time trying to determine what to eat, and ended up with rice and a couple of roasted mushrooms. Hoorah. [Digression]Explained to T.T.G. J-P Sartre's theory of relationships. Well, actually not. Not sure what this would consist of (probably
  • Gauloise
  • Simone De Beauvoir 'not understanding him'
  • Certain needs
so instead related J-P's guide to pulling, which is roughly:
1. form philosophical theory based on the heartbreaking meaningless of existence
2. go to cafe and explain aforesaid theory to young woman
3. 'Comfort' her while she confronts the consequences of this theory
... and apparently this works (or so he says part way through Being and Nothingness. Who says philosophy isn't useful?[End digression]

If that wasn't enough, then went into my putative thesis on sexual perversion, with reference to Nagel, nothing being shocking, and so on and so forth. Ate the rice. Felt qualms of guilt at departing so soon after, so ended up watching Invader Zim for half an hour. Much better than expected. Then drove home, trying not to exploit the lamentable handling characteristics of front-wheel drive cars. Returned home at 2.30 am on Friday. Expectations of a good night's sleep in preparation for the race: now nil.

Got up Friday. Cold, foggy day. 5 and a half hour's sleep, plus an hour's nap. Not feeling great. Went to Hythe. Ate 150 grams of blueberries. Ran the race (which turned out to be 10.5 miles). Ragged the arse out of it :-)

Or rather: to do a 3 1/2 hour marathon in June, I need to run at 7.5 mph for 210 minutes. (8 minutes a mile). Thus 10.5 miles should take (at race pace, which is above what I run at most days) 1 hour 24 minutes. Started at the back of the pack and then worked my way forwards, ran like a goon up the only bit of hill on an admittedly flat course, and then ran back alongside somebody serious looking. Had a disgusting gel at about 8 miles, and, as well as doing 5 miles in 37 minutes 15, finished the whole thing in 1 hour, 12 minutes and 30 seconds. (About 8.5 mph, or a 3 hour marathon). Thus, rather stoked by this. All that running must be good for something.

Second toe on my right foot has turned black under the nail though. Bit worried about that.


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