Tapering and reflecting
In a week and a half, I will be running 250km across the Simpson Desert.
I started training for this event in the last weeks of January. It’s now the end of June. That’s six months that I have lived and breathed this race – the Big Red Run.
This year I was also promoted to a Legal Counsel position. You wouldn’t know it. Despite this pay rise and prestigious job title, I am up to my eye balls in debt. This is largely due to the $2k plus entry fee plus the ever expanding list of mandatory gear. Every pay cycle there has been at least one thing on my shopping list that I’ve needed to get and put away for this epic adventure.
Whilst I’m usually thrifty, mandatory safety gear for a 250km run in the Simpson Desert is not really an area you want to save pennies on, so yes, I am broke.
I catch myself lying to my partner, my family, my friends.
“How much was that new waterproof jacket? Don’t you already have a waterproof jacket?”
“Yes, but that one wasn’t waterproof enough to meet the safety standards. It was on special. A hundred and something…I’m not sure.”
Did I also mention that a few weeks ago I did my “warm up” race which was the Kep 75km Ultra Marathon? So yes, that also involved airfare and accomodation. I tried to keep it cheap, but cheap in Perth is filth. I stayed in a shit box the first night. After running for 9.5 hours I decided I was worth more than a shit box. So I cancelled my reservation for that night and booked a four star hotel. Bliss.
I still haven’t looked at my credit card bill after that race.
…and I still haven’t paid off the balance from the spur of the moment Honolu Marathon expense I incurred last December 😮
So yes, back on point, I am a broke lawyer who spends all her money on running.
I don’t really know what the point is. I was planning on reflecting on the last six months of training, what I have learned blah blah blah, but the truth is, I am tapering and I am grumpy.
This is week two of a three week taper. My body feels like it’s breaking a bit. My feet hurt, my shoulders hurt. I have scar tissue across my collar bones from carrying a weighted pack during my runs for the last six months.
I thought I might be a bit thinner getting to the start line, but I’m the exact same weight – maybe a kilo more, as I was in January.
I don’t really care except I get pissed off when I constantly get those comments “You’re too fat to be a marathon runner.”
Today I had to go get my medical clearance for the Big Red Run. The doctor said “Most marathon runners are skinny.”
I said “I’m not a marathon runner, I’m an ultramarathon runner.” Fuck-tard.
Then I went home and ate a piece of cake. I don’t know why. I wasn’t hungry but it was protest cake. It was “Fuck you dick head I’m going to eat cake and I’m going to run 250km across the fucking desert you arsehole” cake.
I’ve always been passive aggressive.
Anyway, I’ve done enough marathons/ultramarathons to know that this is the low before the high. I never enjoy my tapers. I get phantom pains, I doubt myself, I wonder why the hell I’m doing this.
I think the truth is, I was born to do this. I don’t feel like I have any choice in the matter. When I am running an ultramarathon, I am freer than I could ever be. I am more me than I could ever imagine. I am what and who I want to be. Life is perfect.