To the dogs.

Friday, the earliest I have been up for in a while to go for a run. Yep, Mel is definitely back! Discovered she had put in my work calendar a community group run at 6:15 every Friday….indefinitely.  Oh boy.

So, somehow I not only manage to get to the venue with time to spare, but I also arrive before Mel.  The run leaves from a shop- the shop being a running store of course, with a café next door within which to have coffee and brekky afterwards, of course, of course!  So, there I am sitting in my car at 6:08am, it is still pitch black, and the shop looks dead, not a soul to be seen, wondering if I have managed to misinterpret instructions again and roll up at the completely wrong place- in which case unlikely I will get to the correct place by 6:15am, in which case, I have wasted a perfectly good extra hour of sleep.

But no, eventually some stragglers show up and then Mel pulls up behind me and I race to jump into her passenger seat while we scope out the arrivals. 

Oh boy.

There are SkinsTM as far as the eye can see,  and encased in said SkinsTM are some very long, shapely, fat-deprived and streamlined elite running legs.

I turn to look at Mel in horror to accuse her of deceiving me, “I thought this was supposed to be a slow, community run???!”.  But the words never escape my lips as when I look at her, she too is looking equally as horrified, and I might add…a little pale.

Oh well, we are here now, might as well saunter over and check things out at closer range.  At the very least,  we might get to have coffee and toast with some very spunky men in an hours time…presuming we a) don’t die, or b) are not still miles away and only halfway through the run by the time said legs-er I mean spunky men- have returned, eaten breakfast and headed off to work.

By the time we cross the street the lights are on in the shop and everyone has piled in (fluorescent lights are so not flattering at 6:15am!  Particularly when you are squinting profusely for a good 3 minutes until your eyes finally adjust to the searing brightness, having been the first time they have been exposed to football stadium-quality light this time of the morning…)

The run-pack leader introduces himself and casually announces that Kings Park has been ‘overdone’ lately, instead, we are going to be running to the next suburb where we will do some intervals before running back, just to mix things up a bit. 

Oh boy.

“Don’t worry” says the run-pack leader, clearly our horrified expressions have just escalated to the next level of looking entirely terrified, “its just an easy pace”.

Well, sure enough, their “easy pace” was my “fast” pace, not an all out sprint but given after 1km I was puffing like my 5 year old Labrador after she has destroyed an entire couch in 5 minutes flat (although my puffing isn’t as “happy” as the Labrador’s), despite the fact that the first kilometre was all downhill, I quickly anticipated I was not going to be able to maintain the pace for the entire 8km loop.  Plus- weren’t we supposed to be saving our sprint legs for the intervals???

By the time we reach the park my legs are feeling a little jelly-like and I am thankful for the 2 minute reprieve of standing still while the run-pack leader explains what we are going to do.  Then its intervals time, and I’m not entirely upset with how I fared, I did do my best to go quite fast on the “on” bits and ended up being very slow on the “off” bits but I guess that’s the point.  The sprinting really took it out of my legs so that by the time we had completed 3 circuits of the park my jog was down to a barely-shuffle.  Mel started to feel a bit of pain in her still not-quite-right ITB so the  R-PL suggested we start jogging back.  In a stroke of genius I took us on a slight shortcut so that they wouldn’t lap us on the way home (and so that we wouldn’t miss out on our coffee with the group). 

I was celebrating our success a little too soon as the next moment there was a slight hiccup in the plan, when Mel quite literally stumbled at the last hurdle, and her frozen hands ended up quite bloodied and bruised.  Oops, I’m sure the hubby (who was at the time overseas) was not going to be too impressed with my lack of ensuring her safety whilst we were attempting crazy activities like running at 6am on a Friday with a group of Skins –clad racehorse-humans.  Oh wait, it was Mel’s idea. Whew. 

The Truth is out there.....

Image by law_keven via Flickr

(There was one time last year when we were training for the half marathon- which even more surprisingly, had been my idea- that I might have thought I’d lost Mel about halfway through an 18km run, and I might have panicked about the fact that I didn’t have a phone and how cross at me D might be for losing her, and there might have been a couple of tears and violently shaking another fellow runner until they almost passed out when I was questioning them if they had seen a girl fitting Mel’s description).  Turns out, the path had split, she went up, I went down and then when I stopped because I couldn’t hear her behind me anymore (yes , those were the days when I occasionally got to run in front), she had managed to get in front of me without me noticing (because a) she was on a different path and b) I was running back the other way and somehow never actually tweaked that the path forked).  So, in the end it was all fine but I admit was seriously considering the possibility of alien abduction. Beam me up, Scotty!

So, anyway, Mel dragged her bloodied and bruised body home without coffee, to jump in the hot shower, which left me to face the coffee and breakfast alone with the super-fit crowd.  It was fine, they were all lovely and I was confident I would be keen to rejoin them next Friday- despite the fact that it is my RDO and I would otherwise have absolutely NO REASON, to get up at such a ridiculous hour.

That was about as good as my week got.  The rest was a jumble of hormones, bad news, jibes taken far too personally (by me), hurt feelings, and of course, the ever present heartbreak (when am I going to get over it?! 2 years, 4 months and counting….).  I am writing last week off has having gone almost-completely to the dogs.  And Im not sure this week is faring much better so far, but I remain hopeful that it might improve.

The run on Saturday was not so memorable, I took every opportunity available to stop and walk, just wasn’t feeling it.  However, Bec always says there is no such thing as a bad training session, so, I wont go so far as to say it was a bad training session.  😉

Saturday night I was clearly on the euphoric upswing of my depression cycle, went out with Bec and a few ex-work colleagues and had a ball.  Sunday – no exercise on account of a) sore head and b) plantar fasciitis recurring in my left foot so thought it best to rest as I dont want a dramatic flare-up right before the City to Surf next weekend. 

Walked the dogs instead. I’m sure they love it when I feel injured as they, as a consequence receive much more attention.  Having pondered this earlier today, I have drawn up a weekly routine (so that I can remember what Im supposed to be doing on each day, as I do forget, and it changes between RDO and non-RDO week).  The dogs have been included in my list of daily activities, just to ensure they dont miss out as a result of my poor planning…

At least I can count on the dogs being super excited and fully appreciating the attention!

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