I had planned on writing tonight all about my excitement about the start of the Salomon Trail Series this weekend, the first race for me a 15k in Studley Park. In fact, I sat down with my journal this morning (my private one, where I really let loose), and started to write those very words. Then I realised I was not telling even myself the truth. I was just writing what I thought I should be feeling, what I usually feel when a big trail race is coming up. The truth is, I am not excited. Just tired. And grumpy.
So imagine the sense of irony, when, flipping through the latest issue of Runner’s World, I came across this mini-article called “Brain Drain”. It had a horrific checklist, on which I checked four of the five items, so apparently, I’m meant to “hold off and review my training load”.
At least I can sit back and heave a great sigh of relief – I’m not just getting stupid, clumsy, and irritable. Well, I am – but because I’ve been doing too much. Here’s how I know:
My Norton Anti-Virus came up for renewal. Always a joyous moment. I soldiered on, paid the bill, downloaded the massive file, and got the expected message of, “Your operating system is out of date so this was all a big waste of time. And get prepared to waste more time, because you have not downloaded the 850 security updates over the last three years because you have been overtraining you idiot! Oh, and your house needs a vacuum, especially the stairs.” Well, it didn’t really say all that, but it might well have done. So I spent the last two days fixing all that stuff, feeling my neck muscles tense and my patience, always slim, dwindle to nothing. Stupid security updates. Stupid giant security updates. Stupid stairs.
Then I decided it was high time to soak the smelly dish towels in white vinegar, because my husband (who can’t smell anything!) was complaining about them. It seemed a great solution that I discovered via Google: soak the towels in white vinegar in the washing machine. (Not as good as my original plan to dig a big hole and bury them in the back garden, but more economical). I even read the washing machine’s instructions for how to soak.
But after I soaked, I noticed that the towels were only half-wet, and wait, why wasn’t the stupid machine going around now that I’d turned it on to wash out the vinegar? After learning how to disconnect the filters, flooding the floor of the laundry, realising just how much dirt trail running gathers in filters, and swearing under my breath for three hours, I was sure I had it fixed. Really sure! So sure I ran the stupid dish towels through the vinegar again, and guess what, the machine still didn’t spin. Arrgggh. I caved and called the washing machine service people, who claimed that a Siemens machine is really a Bosch now, claimed this in a very strange accent spoken softly as if they were telling me something even more secret than Wiki-leaks, but that they will fix it, sometime between 9 am and 1 pm tomorrow. But they don’t want to know the model number because they don’t want to buy the wrong parts. Um hm. We’ll see.
Finally, there were the plants. The long, lush liriopes that had been a feature of our front garden since we moved in. My lovely husband had cut them back to be able to mow the lawn (several months ago), when I like them lush and long and wild. I noticed today, and had a very dishonorable hissy-fit that makes me blush and think the words “fish-wife”. Ungrateful. Bratty. Irritable. Stupid plants. (note how many times I’ve used the word stupid already).
SO back to that checklist: irritability (check);
poor short-term memory (check – did I mention that I’d left my credit card at the restaurant when I went out for coffee last week? Nnope, must have forgotten); struggling on runs I used to blast through (check, if that means I’m slower than an old donkey); persistent joint soreness (check, but only when I train).
Darn. I hate when the experts are right.
Looks like a bit of extra rest is in order, so I’ll have to blog about my excitement about the trail series later in the week, when I’m really telling the truth. And I promise I’ll tell you about training my 9-year-old son to run 5k – a most amazing experience!
Sweet dreams to you all. And may all your appliances and software updates function like a dream….and may you never make the mistake of training too much. Or at least learn more quickly than me if you do!
I love your blog Patricia, refreshingly honest and brought a smile to my face!! I recognize the feelings expressed above…dog needs to be washed, I should be out running, but I need to get some study done too…friends to catch up with…isn’t it my holidays?! My poor carpet needs more than a vacuum…
Your story here resonates well with me! It’s reassuring to know that I’m not the only one!!
Thanks for writing, and for your kind words! Seems we all live in a bit of chaos sometimes – good to know I’m not alone in it too! Happy running…
Oh Patricia. Sorry to hear you feel like this.
Great blog and feelings I am sure many can relate to. But….I look forward to sharing your excitement for the race later in the week.
Know exactly how you feel Patricia. I have a short fuse at the best of times but, well, now……….:(
Thanks Keren! Good news – the washing machine left this morning to be repaired, so I’ve got two days laundry-free! And feeling a lot more energetic after a shorter run than usual. Thanks for writing, and commiserations on the short fuse (good thing we run, imagine how short it would be otherwise!).
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