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.
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…
…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 🙂