You know one of those days when you wake up in the morning and think…. ‘My heart feels like it is stalling on me!’ On such days, not even intravenously administered espresso can help. Short of an adrenaline shot through the heart (I’ve been trying to stay away from drugs), going for a run was my next best option, and that’s what I did a few months ago. It was quite funny actually. I hadn’t run in such a long time, and it seemed I had forgotten how! I kept tripping over my legs and I had to stop every 5 minutes, with my heart threatening to pop out of it’s casing.
Training Begins – Unwittingly Of Course
To say that the run worked would be an understatement! My heart was right at my throat, exactly where I needed it to be. My senses became so sharp I could hear my neighbour’s cell phone vibrating. That is when I decided to have one of those conversations I like having with myself, which went like…. ‘self, why can’t you do this more often? It wouldn’t kill you, you know.’ And that is how the run madness began.
Two weeks ago, I remembered that there was this thing called Stanchart Nairobi Marathon, where Nairobians present themselves, to show off their running skills, for a noble cause – ‘Running for Sight’. I figured, I’m feeling relatively fit. Why not step up and show off my 2 minute running prowess? Besides, adding one more cause to my belt is quite gratifying. And that’s how I ended up registering and ‘training’ for the said marathon.
Dawn of Marathon – Knocking All of 10KM of Race Down
The day had finally come, and one of the advice from the race manual was to take light, easily digestible carbs, like bread or porridge. I am traditional, so I went for a huge mug of porridge, hoping that by the time I got to the starting point, digestion would have taken place and I would feel a little lighter.
I arrived at the starting point at just before the starting time. Yes, I know, it was cutting it close, but considering how nervous I had been the previous evening, I wanted to be there ON time. No need to kill myself with undue anticipation. After doing a few short stretches (I had to look good to the hordes of non-onlookers), the race was off. Just like all other novices before me, with me and behind me, I shot through the crowd, in an attempt to be among the first lot. I don’t have to tell you that by minute 5, I was panting heavily, slowed down to a trot, finally degenerated to normal walking. After the adrenaline wore off, and I had recovered from my misguided shot through the wind, I was able to do an average trot, all the way to the finish line, and completed the race in less time than I actually thought I’d take! Dragging my exhausted self home, I fed like I was starved for a month, showered, took a nap and 4 hours later, I was feeling refreshed and accomplished.
Notes To Er…. Us
- I understand make-up and to some extent jeans. But attempting the race in heels is absolutely ridiculous
- If you are going to participate in the race in shoes, then for heaven’s sake, train in shoes, not bare feet!
- Cutting through barriers does not cut your running time in half. It multiplies (for the sake of being polite) your lack of wisdom by 2
- If you are a loner like me (I am!) ditch the company. It either makes you feel inadequate due to their perfect running skills or slows you down 😀
- Stopping in the middle of the race, for a Kodak moment…. ahem. No comment
- Seriously, the world will not come to an end in the 1 hour that you will be away from your phone. Give it a rest.
- Don’t kid yourself. The races, no matter how short they appear, require proper training. The training should start early enough. At least 6 months in advance.
- Don’t carry your huge handbag – Don’t look at me like that! It was my first attempt! I didn’t know any better!
- Sprinting just a few metres from the finish line is a great ego boost. At least you started with a run and completed with a run.
- Pace yourself. Enjoy the weather. Have fun.
So I’m thinking, I cut through the wind, for a good cause, and got my muscles screaming at least for the next 3 days. That wasn’t such a bad way to end the month of October. O wait, today is Halloween, isn’t it? I am of the opinion that Halloween on Sunday sounds so evil it has to be brilliant! Let’s see whether we can squeeze one more drop of adventure out of this day.