Monday, April 28, 2014

One day I'll laugh about this

Ever have one of those deeply ridiculous, frustrating, disappointing, exasperating days that you just know you'll have a good laugh about - eventually?
That was my weekend: in which the half marathon I was supposed to run didn't happen, and in which I had probably the worst run of this marathon training cycle (let's just say it can only go up from here).

A little bit of background:  So, I worked on Saturday, and when I say I worked I mean I was on the duty roster and I do any and all odd stories that come in - police news, fire breaks out, etc etc. This past Saturday wasn't so bad - only two assignments and three minor freakouts. But it was still a 14-hour day from 8am to 10pm. I managed to eat lunch at 3, and then after the second assignment of the day I had an inauspiciously dodgy greasy wrap thing at 6pm and finally had some water after not drinking anything all day. Then I went to the airport at 10.30pm to pick up the husband and had what must unequivocally be the saddest prerace dinner ever:

a bun wrapped in plastic and about three inches of coffee.

His flight got in at 10.40pm and by the time we got home it was midnight. Obviously this set me up real well for the Run350 half marathon the next morning that started at 5.30am, right? (And I wasn't even racing it really, I had 21km on the schedule that day anyway. I thought I might as well have some company, so I signed up when registration opened months ago. Then we got the monthly roster for April...)

The race organisers were kind enough to arrange shuttle buses to the race from several MRT stations so I'd originally booked a bus ticket from Buona Vista. For 3.50am, the only time the shuttles left.

At 3.50am, I was still asleep.

At 4.15am, I woke up a bit more, had some breakfast, and then my fabulous husband/ support crew was supposed to drive me to the race. ("Why on earth would you want to drive me there? Doesn't that just make for TWO sleep-deprived people??" "Oh no, I can always go back to sleep.")

At 4.45, I made the executive decision that I wasn't going to run a half marathon on 3.5 hours of sleep and hardly any dinner.

It was possibly the ONLY smart life decision that I made all weekend, because at 6am I was woken up by a text from the race organisers to say the half was cancelled due to a massive thunderstorm. (Hooray!) A really smart person would have just declared victory and quit then and there, rolled over, gone back to sleep, and lived to run another day. No, I had to go and try to run my scheduled 21km after the rain stopped at 8am. Mind you, I hadn't had any more to eat since my 4.15 wakeup call. (People make terrible decisions when sleep-deprived.)

I set off, already feeling exhausted and hungry, and a few km in, I ran into a spot of stomach trouble. Remember the inauspiciously dodgy greasy wrap thing? It refused to come back up; it went the other way instead. I grew up on street food and usually have a cast-iron stomach, so I blame the lack of sleep.

So imagine this: 5km into a run; no sleep, no dinner, girl trouble, stomach trouble, and home is 5km away while the nearest lavatory is 4km away in the other direction. What do you do? You run-walk-jog to the nearest loo, of course.

Once inside, you find the nearest loo -- the only loo for miles -- At which point you burst into tears, then collect yourself and take a cab home.

You might entertain thoughts of trying again and doing another 10km in the afternoon, but the universe has other plans for you and hits you with a migraine, and then you just give up on life altogether and declare it a nap day.

Sunday wasn't a complete wash though - after I recovered from the morning run-disaster we went to our friends' place for some delicious brunch and Ultimate Fighting Championship live on some sports channel (aka: naptime/ playing with friends' dogs/ playing with other friends' cute toddler to distract her from the violence on TV). But yes, sometimes the universe just decides to punch you several times in the face and then guillotine-choke you into submission.

Gold Coast training log week 8 (April 21-27) 
Monday: 10.5km + TRX
Tuesday: speed set
Wednesday: TRX with Shirlene
Thursday: AM: 8km tempo. PM: 5.6km at the JP Morgan Challenge with colleagues (5:10 pace, yes I do go out too fast during races)
Friday: 11km easy
Saturday - skipped planned 10km, working
Sunday: 9km misery
Total: 49km + TRX


  1. I have mad respect for the way you kept trying to get your run in despite everything - EVERYTHING - thwarting you. Honestly, I would have probably been like "eff it" after just the late night of work, never mind the rain and female troubles and all that. I like to think of it as the universe telling me to take a break instead of signs of laziness. :)

    1. Ha! Sometimes that pigheaded stubbornness takes me a bit too far and that's why the universe has to smack me upside the head to tell me to rest. On a related note, where do you find enough spare hours for ultramarathon training?!

    2. I have no kids. Seriously, if I had kids I would probably never do half the shit I do.

  2. You have my utmost sympathy on the tummy troubles. I've been there more times than I can count. I have used bush toilets when there's nothing else around and I've used leaves for toilet paper. It makes you enjoy the good runs so much more.

    1. Ohhh - I wish I was in a remote enough area to do that, but there are no leaves and no privacy!

  3. Wow, what a horrible sh*t-storm of events! Literally!
    One good story deserves another, so here's mine -- I was running around Lake Merritt in Oakland, which has restrooms spaced about 1 mile apart. On one particularly inauspicious day, the restrooms were closed and I *had* to go, but I was about 2 miles from my apartment. So I found a very small clump of trees and brush that barely passed for privacy. I pulled down my shorts and immediately felt horrible pains -- the stings of yellowjackets! Turns out that I was going to the bathroom on top of their nest! Luckily, I did not get stung in my privates, but I did run out of there with 3 very painful stings -- the one to my ear hurt like hell. It was horrible but also hilarious, in a ridiculous way.

    1. Dude - what a sh*tty problem to have! But what a great story.