Is there a better place than this to run a marathon?
Whenever school holiday times come around, one of two things happen every week night in our household. Either my wife and I do paper, rock, scissors to decide who is going to skip work the next day to entertain our two boys aged 8 and 6. Or we do paper, rock, scissors to decide which of our parents we are going to burden the next day to do the same.
This time, however, we decided to both skip work and entertain the kids up on the Gold Coast of Australia. For those who don’t know, Gold Coast is essentially a stretch of beachside towns in Queensland, about an hour’s flight from Sydney. It is where high school kids go to binge-drink in gaudy bars, small kids go to run amok in theme parks and 41 year-old fathers go to ogle at bikini-clad ladies. Continue reading
The only time a man ‘moons’ without trying to be funny!
It has been four days of deep soul-searching, a humbling exercise precipitated by an extremely disappointing marathon performance last Sunday.
The extent of the soul-searching has been such that, at times, I even began to question whether I’m physically and/or mentally cut out for this human torture that is called the marathon.
The only consolation from the race is that I crossed the finsh line … barely. While the official time of 4 hours and 33 minutes was some 44 minutes outside my Personal Best, at least it was an improvement on my last shameful DNF effort over the distance.
Nevertheless, I feel like such a failure.
Something didn’t feel quite right. In fact, something felt downright wrong.
The sickening saliva started to moist the inside of my mouth – the type that usually precedes a full on projectile puke.
I slowly eased to the side of the road and, as soon as I found a patch of bush, the vomiting began. For someone who has done so only a handful of times in his whole life and can stomach rough seas while game-fishing, this was something else. It felt as if my entire maze of intestines was on the verge of surging up my throat and erupting out of my mouth.
“So, we meet again Mr Jogging Dad. How are we this time around?” He said in an annoyingly nonchalant tone.
“Fuck off, I’m in no mood for this shit right now” I replied.
Crushed by Him, again
“I must say, you’re looking rather well, certainly better than the last time I saw you at this point. Still, looks can be deceiving. Let me just wonder insider your mind to see how you really are, shall I?”
Before I could abuse Him again, everything went silent except my own heavy breathing which, by this time, was gradually drowning out the music coming through the earphones.
Then He was back but, this time, with a much more malicious edge to His voice. Continue reading
Running, parenting – all for love
I have a marathon next month in Canberra, the capital city of Australia with a population of about one-tenth of Sydney – perfect for holding a 42.2km race without the need to disturb any traffic or anyone.
In preparation for this event (my second attempt at the distance), I decided to go for a long 24km run this afternoon. Not nearly enough but neither is the availability of time, what with my weekend bathing duties with the kids and the witching hour that is dinner.
At the risk of sounding self-congratulatory, it is amazing how far I have come though. If someone had told me in 2006 when I picked up running again, that I would reach a stage where 24km of non-stop pounding of the pavement and the heart will become as nonchalant a task as cleaning the car, I would have laughed at his face. I still remember the enormous struggle I had just to run 4km in those early days, and suffering the next morning as if I had done 40.