Heels over Head: I cheated on running – and it broke my heart

2014-03-16 06:00

Cheating. That’s one thing I’d do for love, but never for running.

Running’s never cheated on me.

It’s often left me scarred, bruised, stiff, depressed, exhausted, washed out – but it’s never cheated.

That is why this Valentine’s Day was so bad.

In fact, it was such a disaster that it took me a month to talk about it.

I overslept for a race I really wanted to do. I missed it entirely.

The moment’s gone forever and the torture of knowing it will last just as long.

Strictly speaking, the race was the morning after Valentine’s night, in Kirstenbosch – and I don’t get to Cape Town that often.

Considering how much I love running, which has left me physically fit more than dating fit, I really, really, really wanted to do the race.

I mean, I have more than once declined a romantic invite from a hottie or a sleep-over with a honey because I knew it would interfere with my training in the morning.

I spend way more time obsessing about running shoes, training programmes and diet than I do about love.

Running gets you high. Love? Well, love just lets you down.

I’d entered the race two months in advance.

I paid R150 for it. I could already picture the T-shirt, which I hoped would be some shade of red or pink and sort of hugging the waist with a big heart on it somewhere.

It would have been just me and a bunch of running-lovers in the romantic setting of the magnificent botanical gardens with me all sweating and grinning and endorphin-happy.

The morning after Valentine’s night I had a cruel awakening, though, at 7.43am to be exact.

The race had started 13 minutes before.

For some reason, the night before, I managed to set my alarm clock for 8.30am. I’m still not sure what I was thinking.

The sea of sparkling brut rosé consumed was partly to blame, but not entirely.

The actual sea across the road (apparently the sea causes relaxation and sleepiness) perhaps also played its part.

Maybe the real culprit was the fact that I was sleep-starved to start off with and got to bed way after my bedtime because of all the interesting human and liquid distractions around.

I could blame the friend who, on impulse, dragged me off to a crazy party rather than to a quiet evening for two over dinner and moderate amounts of alcohol that I had imagined very hopefully while actually knowing that with him, it will never really be like that.

So much for the benefits.

In the end though, it was me who should have known better and who should have said no to his invitation.

I cheated on running on Valentine’s Day and it broke my heart.

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