Friday, October 28, 2011

This is going to hurt

I'm at Hong Kong International, waiting for a flight to Osaka. Which will take off at 1.15 in the morning, and spit me out onto the tarmac in Japan at about 6am local time. I should be asleep in my bed, not listening to the sound of men with drills remodelling the Cathay Pacific Business Lounge. What can have happened to make me end up like this?

Oh, I know. It would be signing up for the Osaka Marathon. I wish I could remember why, but that decision is wreathed in the mists of distant time, somewhere long, long ago. Never mind, I'm only 42.195 kilometres away from the finish line.

Today I prepared for the marathon by having a day off work, which I spent playing on the xbox, or fending off the cat, whose only desire was to bite lumps out of my feet and legs. As these are quite important for marathon running, I grew crosser and crosser, and she grew more and more persistent in her assaults. Eventually I got shouty, which is never that useful when dealing with a three-month-old kitten, and had to shut her in the bathroom for fear of what one of us might do to the other.

I suppose if for a laugh they decide to release thousands of kittens in the path of the marathon runners on Sunday, I'll be well prepared, althought I won't be dressed for it, because I don't run marathons in a combination of slovenly climbing trousers and a t-shirt three sizes too big for me.

Well, I haven't done so previously. It could be time to start...

The weather in Osaka is a little variable, which is to say it will either be sunny on Sunday or rain, but more amusingly the temperature ranges from 10 degrees at night to 24 in the day. If I'd known about that before, I would have trained to accustomise myself to it, by walking in and out of Hong Kong's fine selection of shopping malls. It's made packing for the race a little challenging: I have long sleeves, short sleeves, no sleeves, and waterproof shoes.

These last were sold to me in Singapore by an assistant who was insistent that this was what I needed. Since there's not a hermetic seal around the top of the shoe, I'm sceptical about how dry they can really keep my feet, and in any case, I'll probably be sweating quite a lot. Perhaps that was the plan: the waterproofing will keep the perspiration in, and thus keep Singapore tidy, rather than spotted with little puddles of sweat here and there. We'll have to see if this is a good thing in Osaka or not.


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