Run Comrades, run: Curse of the post-Comrades lie-in

2012-05-25 11:17

There is still more than a week left before that little jog between Pietermaritzburg and Durban, but I’m already dreading the first item on my post-Comrades resolutions list.

A few weeks ago, post-Two Oceans achilles tendencies in full blaze, it seemed like a good idea, but now that things have calmed down a little, I’m not sure that three months’ rest is a good thing.

Actually, it wasn’t my idea. The physio suggested it, but my theory is that he’s just tired of de-knotting my complicated calves and he’s hoping that three months’ rest would give his hands some rest too.

Even as much as two weeks ago this idea still seemed good, when it started getting cold with the dark in Johannesburg.

On one of my less pleasant runs the street lights were out on part of the route and I had to run in the road, playing chicken with the headlights of cars and buses.

This meant I couldn’t run quite fast enough to get warmer than the one or two degrees it was at the time.

To top it all, a running newby buddy complained that his fingers froze so badly on a morning run that he couldn’t put his iPhone earphones in his ears while on the run.

The weakling vowed not to run again the whole winter.

That was then, but on Wednesday I had a little time to lie in and only started my morning run at 6.30am.

It was an easy 45 minutes run, because Comrades runners are supposed to taper in the two weeks before the race.

Although there was frost on the veld, cracking under my feet as I ran and frozen grass brushing my bare legs, the sun’s red rise over the horizon and its first warm rays were glorious.

For a few moments all the political anger that hogged the news headlines, and my mind and work, for the past few weeks, seemed insignificant.

Giving this up for three months would be a loss.

So one way of sticking to this resolution would be to succeed in my second post-Comrades resolution: find something warm to sleep with so that it would be easier not to get up early in the mornings.

Being used to getting an endorphin kick roughly between 5am and 7am, the body, like a naughty kid, plays all kinds of tricks on you if you dare lie in.

These usually find their way into anxiety dreams about running (the other day I dreamt I showed up at the Comrades start line with no running shorts and shoes, and I woke up in a sweat).

So best is really to get up, unless you can find a lover or a cat or an electric blanket to distract your urge to get up.

Seeing that resolution three is to take to drinking again with as much fervour as my impinging-middle-aged moderation will allow (teetotalitarianism, after all, is a pain for which bubbly or merlot is the therapy), perhaps an electric blanket should be first choice.

A cat and a lover would need way more maintenance than the wine will allow for.

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