Spurious commemorative memorabilia and a sweaty night at the track

After crowing about how well I was eating and sleeping, it was inevitable that last night I wouldn’t be able to sleep until 3 in the morning, and I’d spend half of today hankering after dreadful food of one kind or another. As the evening seeped into the end of the afternoon, again I felt sluggish and really unsure if I should be going out running at the track tonight.

Still, I took a moment between stopping working and going running to write another 800 words of my novel. Random snippets of dialogue flit through my mind –

I’m the least racist person I know!
Yeah, that’s because all your friends are massive racists!

And although I’m not writing it in order, I’ve had a few thoughts about the plot that make that less problematic. Well, let’s get a first draft done first, and then sort out all my problems.

I jogged to the track, vaguely annoyed. This morning I’d packed my running kit, and when I thought I’d packed my free vest from the Sundown Marathon, I’d actually packed the near-identical finisher’s t-shirt. I don’t like running in t-shirts (too hot) and although it’s a pretty horrendous t-shirt, with its obnoxious “I finished 42.195km” message emblazoned on the back, there’s a good market on the internet selling finisher’s t-shirts and medals. I’ve no idea why you’d buy a t-shirt commemorating an achievement you didn’t actually achieve, but it would have recouped my entry fee, and if some haven’t-been-there, still-got-the-t-shirt wannabee wants to pay for me to run and walk a marathon, why not? Unfortunately, I doubt people want a commemorative t-shirt that isn’t box-fresh. Maybe I’ll get a fiver for the medal.

I had to wear the t-shirt though, because I was jogging to the stadium with my backpack on and didn’t fancy any more chafing, so that was that.

At the track, it was another threshold session: 3×10 minutes at a steady speed. I knew I could do about 1:46s for half an hour after last week, but my pace was a bit more erratic. Partly because there were more people on the track than last week, so starting off each set was a bit of a mess, then sometimes somebody would go in front of me but be a bit overambitious, and I’d follow them only to find we’d done a 1:49, or I’d then overcompensate and go out too fast on the next lap, or my mind would drift because 1:46 isn’t the most thrilling of speeds to run at, or…

I’ll have to review my laptimes later, but it felt pretty consistent. It’s nice when you get dropped by some other people on the second ten minutes, but then you find they’ve knackered themselves out and can’t do the third set at all, while you keep grinding out lap after lap. Or maybe that’s the power of schadenfreude.

The usual set is 30 minutes at threshold. Whether that’s 5 minutes blocks, or 10s, or a 20 and a 10, changes from week to week, but the high mileage people then do an extra bonus 5 minutes. I really didn’t feel I’d exerted myself that hard today, so for the first time I went out with them, to calls of “go steady, James” (After all, my usual modus operandi has been one blazing fast lap and then going down in flames, so it wouldn’t have been a surprise if I did the same tonight. Plus all the other high-mileage people were also very quick people: I was trying not to get drawn along with them, but did the first 100m in 22 seconds or so.)

I did my five minutes, at around 1:35-1:37 pace, which implies I probably could have done the main set a bit quicker, but consistency is more important right now than going out too quick and then blowing up, so I’m just happy that I could be consistent and do a few hard laps as well. Looks like the Sundown may not have ruined me, which is a relief. I did have to sprint to the toilet block after that last 5 minutes though: curry three hours before a hard session is apparently a bit of a brave choice, but nothing revolting occurred.

And now home, and perhaps to sleep.

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