Yesterday I was trying to accomplish far too many things in a very short space of time, and slotted my run in between working on a writing assignment and having to put the meat in the oven at a time specified by my chef husband. Based on having completed said run in forty-five minutes twice now, I allocated fifty-five minutes to allow time for changing into running gear and locking up the house. What I didn’t account for was my mother ringing two minutes before I needed to start my jog, my parents’ ancient dog (that we are taking care of while they’re away) being highly resentful that I might want to consider making him leave the verandah floor and lie on the dirt outside instead, the windows not locking easily, losing my sunglasses and forgetting the key. I was now six minutes behind schedule. I stepped out the front door, started running and was hit with a headwind so strong, it blew my cap right off my head.
I hadn’t accounted for environmental sabotage either. Crossing the bridge proved to be a dangerous exercise and I spent about 5 k’s of the run nearly tripping as each time I lifted my legs, the wind would push them to clip the one I was currently standing on.
Still, I persevered. I play a bit of a game on this run, the game being to overtake everyone in front of me. Usually it’s not too hard to achieve as most people are old or walking with a pram, but today there was a runner, a girl no more than eleven years old, her father riding his bike at her side. She was steaming. Nothing slowed her pace (evidently she wasn’t having the issues with the wind that I was) but I was determined to catch her before the run was out. I did. Eventually. It took me six kilometres to do so, and then I knew I had to keep up the pace because it would have been really embarrassing if I’d overtaken her, only to slow down and have her overtake me almost immediately, but I was spurred on by ego and the meat that had to get into the oven.
I made it home, exhausted, exalted and eight minutes late on the oven front.
Maybe I need to run the marathon this way - book a plane trip or something, so that I have to run it in a certain time or I will miss my flight. Extreme to be sure, but so is running 42 kilometres.