Hump Day Marathon Style

The Wednesday before our last marathon we flew up to the sunny warm Gold Coast and settled ourselves into our wonderful high-rise accommodation.  We enjoyed the warmth and everything about being on holiday.  We lived and breathed marathon preparation.  Not so today, this last Wednesday before marathon number five.  This Wednesday was all about cold and rain and NOT being on holiday.  Marathon preparation will have to wait until the weekend.

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Was this only a couple of months ago?

This week is proving to be huge in many ways; issue after issue float my way, and let’s not mention all the baby moos in the calf shed – Pauly and I have work coming out our ears.  The way I can sum it up best is to tell you about a phone call from a former student.  He rang out of sheer hopelessness.  His circumstances have taken a downward spiral since last we met.  He was in a pit and didn’t know how to get out.  In desperation he called me.  Often adult literacy students turn to their tutor simply because we have shown them kindness and respect without hint of judgement.  I wasn’t able to help him with his problem but I listened, empathised and referred him to an agency that will (I hope) be able to assist him.  Literacy, the lack there of, is like enslavement.  It traps its victim and robs them of hope.  There is no way out: This is me and this is how I will stay.  Oh but only if they would reach out and test the waters of resilience and keep trying.  Bit like becoming a runner really…

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…I cried.  After that call.  I sat at my desk and cried.  I don’t often do things like that.  I’m able to be empathetic, to help as best I can within the boundaries of my job, but then place the situation in a box knowing that I’ve done all that I can do.  But not this time. (Who am I kidding?  I have a little cry almost every other week, such is the hopelessness of many situations in which my support is sought).

Surprise surprise my run last night was not so good.  To say I’m concerned about how I will go on Sunday is an understatement. I’ve recently re-read a book on ultra running.  In this book it talks about how to mix things up to improve and lift mood.  It suggests things like brushing teeth, changing into a dry top or shoes and having a turn of listening to music can all help. Don’t worry I’m not going to brush my teeth on the side of Toombs Lake Road on Sunday – this suggestion is more for those really long mountain runs that have check points.

Music.  Something I haven’t done is run and listen to music.

Tonight is rest night so I’ve experimented with putting some music onto my phone. I plan to pop my ear phones in for that last lap of the marathon.

Pauly has a vast collection of tunes.  A rather interesting (that’s a nice way of saying old and moldy) bunch of music it is.  Here are some of what I chose – you may have a giggle.

  • Born to be alive – Patrick Hernandez
    I may feel like death but I will keep on running
  • Can you feel it – The Jackson 5
    Yes, I can feel it… in my quads, my hammies, my feet…oh groan…I can feel it everywhere
  • Desperado – The Eagles
    …desperate for that damn finisher’s medal and my bottle of ginger beer waiting at the finishing line
  • Daddy Cool – Boney M.
    It’s father’s day on Sunday!
  • Longer – Dan Fogelberg
    Oh gosh…longer and longer and longer…when will this running end?
  • I will survive – Gloria Gaynor
    I WILL. I will survive. Even if I have to crawl to that finishing line.  I will survive!

Whatever happens I know, as Pauly often says, that I have the resilience to grind out those last 10kms.  They may not be pretty but I will get to that finish line.  Marathon running has taught me so much, gosh, not just marathon running – RUNNING has taught me so much.  It has taught me that I am stronger and fitter and way more stubborn than I ever thought I could be.  While I’m not always competitive, I always want to beat that voice in my head that tells me that I can’t.  I only wish that others could learn this lesson of resilience that running offers for free.  Like the chap I spoke to on the phone.  When the going gets tough, he quits.  He allows that voice that tells him he can’t to be dominant.  Don’t do that.  Don’t let that voice that says you can’t get any airplay in your mind.  Silence it.  If I can be ready to line up for marathon number five then you can conquer your next running goal too.

What do you think of my playlist?  I bet I’ll listen to the songs and get the giggles while I’m running.

Happy running 🙂

9 thoughts on “Hump Day Marathon Style

  1. Oh Annie, we have so much in common with our students and I feel for you dealing with everything that’s going on. Your student is lucky to have you to cal on, and these are the sorts of things people never know about. I cried today too, circumstances that are out of my control but which I feel so strongly about, stupid people making stupid decisions….I’m so angry and I wish I had been able to go out for a run to get rid of some of this angst. I’m sure you will be fine on the weekend as you have the resilience that is needed. I love your play list – especially your descriptions of the songs- you make me laugh and cry all at once 🙂 Good luck.

    • Hugs Debbie. I cried again today too. Coupled with work is the farm rubbish…the reality that we may only have a few months to go just breaks my heart. Hang in there my lovely friend. At the end of the day you have touched so many lives and helped them to hopefully make better choices in their futures. That is a precious treasure to be proud of xxx

  2. Annie i have no doubt you were a huge comfort to your former student. You exude compassion and hope and I am certain he felt that from you.
    Your playlist looks great. I could never have done the marathon without some music. I usually run with one ear piece in and one out so I can hear what is going on. In north America some races will disqualify you for wearing them due to that safety issue. I know you of course will cross the finish line. My guess is you will do better than you expect. Sending bug hugs! xo

    • Thanks Sue, I try my best to help but sometimes the powerlessness overwhelms me. Tears are good! I had thought about the one ear piece thing. I’m popping into the big smoke today for a massage and thought I’d see if I can get some running ear phones. Nothing like trying something new on a marathon…breaking all the rules! Thanks for the hugs xxx

  3. Oh Annie … I’m late. I’m late! By the time you read this, it will likely be race day for you! The beauty of running is that you can put all your other worries aside because the run takes it all 🙂
    I hope your have a great day.

    btw – Born to Be Alive is one of my favourite running songs.
    … and AC/DC Thunderstruck.
    My pace ALWAYS picks up with these 2 songs 😉

    I think Desperado would drag me down though. I love the song but it doesn’t have the beat I need to run. Good luck!

    • Oh Joanne, you hit the nail on the head. Desperado was terrible to run to! I deleted it. And as always you say exactly what I would like to say but the words never come out quite so well as yours…That is the beauty of the run. We can put everything aside and take a mental rest. Anyways I heard you out there. You and Sue and Dave are right ‘noisy buggers’ as we would say in Australia 🙂 And you all look fabulous in red and white cheer costumes hehe 🙂

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