A few days away from the start of my third Comrades Marathon. Hopefully I bring back my second medal! I am at times so excited, then others puzzled. Is this really me? On one hand it seems like just another race, yet on the other hand it feels monumentous. Especially when people say they admire me, or they are in awe of me. It feels so natural in many ways to be doing this and then so unbelievably unlike me on the other. I still like to park close to shops, so I don't have to walk far. The thought of climbing stairs brings back the 'old me'. Running for a ringing telephone tires me out, yet I am fitter than I ever was in my twenties and thirties.
So it does feels unbelievable, yet if I have gotten to this point, anyone can!
I am not one of those driven, dedicated types, 'laissez faire' would be a more accurate style of person, hubby would disagree and say 'lazy fair' (which is probably truer!). I dislike routine, and I am certainly not competitive. If it rains, I stay at home and forgo the run. But the difference is, not running one day, doesn't put me off forever, like it used to.
The physical act of running isn't even the attraction. I don't go all mathematical and work out my running speed, and the last km's timing, because that bores me. I have an idea now of what I am capable of, and I do look at the end of say 10kms, and then do any maths, if need be. I don't know how I should be running with proper gait, and heel strike, all I know about is that I seem to plod, or shuffle, and that works for me.
I am boring in the way that I can now talk running for hours with fellow runners, but usually about other runners and not the technicalities of anything. I want to know how other people feel, and what they do, and that is what interests me. People have stories, and my running friends have years and years of different races, in different towns, and that fascinates me.
I don't eat the correct things and work out the intake or output, I just go with what I now know, and what I like. There is probably many things that could be corrected, but the 'effort' puts me off- see, I told you 'lazy'!
I enjoy being out on the road, surrounded by people and this awesome country and I feel totally safe on the road, apart from woman drivers who seem to drive far too close to me, but that only happens when I'm running alone!
I enjoy reading about running, but again it's the stories I'm after, the different type of shoe doesn't keep my interest for very long, unless it's those weblike shoe gloves, that look like barefeet, those still intrigue me!
So now my bags are packed, got my Durban warm clothes, where it will be warmer than Jozi, and am almost ready to board that plane. Roughly 10 hours are in the way between me and the start of my weekend away. The excitement has my head playing mini-samples of music all day, and I sing them so hubby can be a doll and pretend he recognises them. I can't seem to sit still for very long, and there is nothing on tv! Even my internet game isn't keeping my interest. The bubble of excitement is twitching in my limbs, and I will have to take a bath, and read something really boring later to slow my body down.
I am looking forward to meeting my fellow 'comrades' some known, and others to be known. I can't wait to hear new stories, and am so looking forward to receiveing the love from the spectators that festively line the roads of Natal, cheering us on. I am excited at the prospect of doing a better time, and feeling clear-headed, and that feeling when we near the stadium, and I hear the PA guy trying his best to sound excited after 7 hours of duty. I want to shout at the cameramen who are usually sitting behind their cameras, not filming us, because we are too slow for the TV interest, but not slow enough for the heart-wrenching tears at the final 12 hour gun. I want to smile and 'whoop' as we enter the stadium, and hear the people applaud us even if they are still anxious as they wait for their own loved ones to enter the stadium.
Why would anyone not want to run this race? It is an experience that lives on forever, and no matter how long I rant, it is still undescribable.
Bring it on!