Show your guts


A slightly damp session at the track this evening; I’m not sure when it rained today, if at all, because I only got out of the office for fifteen minutes between meetings, but the air was humid and cool. There were only three of us running tonight, despite a very crowded track.

When I’ve looked at my recent performance, I’ve been doing decently consistent laps for the first twenty minutes, and then my pace goes and the rest is horrible, so tonight I went out a bit easier, really making an effort to stick to a uniform pace rather than a kamikaze charge out from the start.

All three of us were feeling it a bit, whether recovering from getting married, getting a cold or not getting lunch until 3pm. (Don’t weep for me, I had two breakfasts this morning.) So our first lap was a sluggish 1:41, before we settled down to a regular pace.

1:41.45
1:38.10
1:37.77
1:39.55
1:38.05
1:37.26
1:38.67
1:38.95
1:37.39

After a nice consistent 15 minute start, I was wary of falling to bits halfway through the second segment, so I started a little cautiously. Such restraint was for naught, as on the last lap I miscalculated how many minutes we’d done, and pulled off the track after 9 minutes rather than ten, took seven seconds to realise my error, then rushed off again. So that would have been a very quick final lap otherwise.

1:39.38
1:39.95
1:38.79
1:39.23
1:38.49
1:40.14

Coming up to the final five minutes, I still felt quite fresh. Or rather, I wasn’t breathing through my eyeballs. I took the first lap steady. I took the second lap steady. I put my foot down on the third lap.

The first hundred yards were quick; I checked my watch as I rounded the corner and it showed 23 seconds – if I kept that up it would mean a 1:32 finish. As I went down the back straight, my stomach began to rebel, twisting and heaving. I fell a little off the pace, struggling to push, lost Anna at the halfway mark, and then was treated to the return of the lentils I’d had for dinner.

Fortunately by now the track was deserted, and the thin line of vomit that left my mouth spattered onto the drainage grill on the inside of the track. I felt a little better, accelerated again and finished the session with my fastest lap of the night.

1:37.62
1:38.96
1:35.83

I don’t think I’ve ever puked before as a result of exercise. Vomitting over a public sports facility is nothing to be proud of, whereas finally managing to run consistently for half an hour is. Well, nothing to be too too proud of, but nothing too shabby either. I think I deserved tonight’s post-run ginger beer.


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