Consistency and disappointment

Last night we stayed up until 3am, bingeing on television, which meant I missed this morning’s parkrun and felt groggy as hell. Instead, we went out for waffles at a breakfast place that had come highly recommended by one of our fellow salsa dancers. Students. Animated dancing bears. Whatever.

The cafe was about fifteen minute’s walk from our place, and we got there about 9:30, shortly after it opened, and an hour and a half after I woke up and first wanted something to eat. Either they were short on staff today or they’re just short on staff: one woman was having to bring out menus, take orders, serve the food up and make all the coffees, and even though there weren’t more than ten people in the cafe when we arrived, it took ages for anything to arrive, and it was half an hour before we got any butter to put on La Serpiente’s toast. The scrambled eggs I had were good, but not a patch on Ronin (but then what ever is?) and my wife’s waffle was cold, as though it had been produced some time ago rather than being something produced fresh and delicious this morning.

On the other hand, La Serpiente had an enormous babycino, sprinkled with minature marshmallows. It’s a shame that she doesn’t like marshmallows, and we’ve been accustomed to free babycinos and not paying $3 a time for them, which is pretty steep for a shot of steamed milk. Ah well.

La Serpiente has a viral rash covering most of her body, which looks terrible but doesn’t seem to bother her in the slightest. We took her to the library to get more books to read, and having borrowed 14 new books, and broken our anti-sugar resolution by eating a revolting muffin at the cafe in the library, we went home and everyone napped. La Serpiente did us proud by sleeping from 1:30 until well past 4, whereas yesterday she’d managed a 45 minute nap, abbreviated by a bout of coughing. So at least we all got some rest.

I fancied going to the track tonight, but I couldn’t abandon wife and kids before dinner and bath, and if I went out after that, I wouldn’t get home until super late. I wasn’t sure how to cut this Gordian knot, until I realised I could take wife and kids to the track, and La Serpiente could pla around while I did my laps.

The flaw with this plan was that we got to the track at 6pm, when it was hot and still sunny. Every time I rounded the last corner of the track, the sun was right in my eyes, and there were all sorts of kids and people just walking around on the track, located perfectly for me to crash into while I was trying to go as hard as I could for 400m.

Well, not as hard as I could. Worried as I haven’t trained enough recently, I aimed to just get all my laps under 1:32, which is lamentably slow pace, but then I haven’t trained recently. I was fairly amazed to find how consistent all my laps were:
That’s the most consistent I’ve ever been with a set of 12 400m segments: the bad news is that the average pace is the third slowest I’ve ever done, and that’s with a set of track spikes rather than normal shoes, which should be worth a bit of extra time every time out. If I can’t buy my way to greater performance, what hope is there? However, the thing I have to focus on is the consistency – even if my fastest lap was slower than the average on almost every other outing, I’ve got a really tight grouping of laps there. I now know I can go out and put in 12 laps at 1:28 pace pretty much guaranteed; now it’s a matter of working that time down, second by second, until I can crank out 12 laps at a respectable pace instead. I’ve got the shoes, I’ve (possibly) got the time, what else could I need?

A better breakfast. And legs that aren’t sore. I guess…

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