Nimble along Thames

Half Marathon @ Marlow – Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre
Sunday 22nd Oct 9-12•C. Windy/gusty

 

Cred ca a new PB. Results not out yet (finally confirmed on Monday).

 My rabbit (Emma H I guess)

Good to see I could run and keep a steady pace throughout most of it. Locked onto a girl in her 40s(?) maybe.. Funny how I tend to judge/categorise people after my own age. Circumvolutions of self.
Two threaded hair locks jumping in front of me. Face hidden by the wind. Very lean posture and body, nice legs, spindly-elegant, could see she wasn’t a 20smthing only by the design of her bottom. Contained but somewhat tucked inside towards the crotch. A seasoned runner judging by the steady pace and the (mud)wear of the shoes.
1-2 others tried to keep up with us but we gradually overtook about everyone in our close proximity.
4’55” per km average pace at mid-race and at 12km again.

Body wind-morphing
Felt some vague hip tensions or somewhere further up the body at around 6-7km, but I wore them out. Felt I was running aerobically even though the consistency of the woman’s pace was slightly getting to me. She noticed me behind only when we were around half way. I kept behind her often breathing down her footsteps. The wind was blowing in strong gusts somewhere between 6-12km zone. The full Thames, as narrow as it was here – a welcomed companion.
Several kissing gates and a couple of bridges would calm the pace. Luckily we’d already spread out as a race group so there wasn’t that much bottle-necking.

Going for it

The woman didn’t seem annoyed. Warned me of upcoming cars or stuff once or twice. I paced behind her stopping short of overtaking several times. Waiting to get over the hilly mid area, not burn my breath silly. Then I gave her a few warning runs shoulder to shoulder, trying to track her into a slightly faster pace. Switching roles – me carrying her along in the second half. I aimed for sub 4’53” as that would have been just sub my prev best of 1h43’34” done on 15 May 2016 (1.5 days after Eugen..)

Finally I broke ahead at around 12.5 km.
I think it was only around 14-15 km I remembered to check on my left knee. All good. No pain, no difference.

Crisis

Right after the 12 miles mark I reached a break point. It was right after the only elevated bridge we had to cross. A steepish incline up and down of maybe 30-50m altogether. For the last mile before that there had been a guy that managed to catch up with me and had been tagging along. That stimulated me to not fall back and maintain what was now a roughly 4’35”-40”ish pace. But right after 12m a sharp acute pain cut into my right hip, just half way between the rib cage and the hip bone. So sharp that it was almost cutting my breath and seriously undermining my stand. The guy checked on me but I knew it was the fatigue sign, the “running-beyond-my-means” signal. So I slowed to probably 5’30” or so (wow.. more than that, 6’/km ntz ntz ntz) pressing my hand on it, ample breathing into it. Can’t give in to any wall, I don’t feel that mental block! Common! If I could at least keep this crawling pace and mentally come out of this spot. Or at least get the pain to subside a little. Run it out. By this time two more overtook me. A girl with incredibly consistent pace and a guy.
It took about 1km to get rid of the pain. At one of the last kissing gates I spotted my hairlocked rabbit lady within meters. 10 or so behind. I gathered myself back into the steady saddle of three-pace-breath, heavy short ones, sinking it rhythmically into each foot, full open mouth by now. Get as much fuel in as possible. And paced back into 4.50-40 maybe 30 at some point. This last over-taker – a green t-shirt guy – within 30-40metres in front. I didn’t catch him but was uplifting my mindset counting on being inside markers: “sub 2km now”, “sub 1.5 to go”, “sub 1km”, “definitely 500m left” (even though there were 700) and on and on. Sun was up. I was pushing through a bit of an edge there. Wearing it a touch heavily in the body, in the pace, the breath.

Finish

The last 50m and a timid hand out from a 4y old with his same age girlfriend right by. A high five! yes! Been wanting to find one! So I swerve wildly out of my track to make contact with him. Both of us glad! Then ran for my life. The official general clock striking 6 seconds over 1h40”. Wow! So… I must be very close to an unexpected mark! I mean a wishful thinking but not really aiming for it. I check my phone. It says 20.37km. at 5’54”… hmm… gotta wait for official results.
I feel exhausted. I could still run a bit. But I’m not far from my break up threshold.
I feel good! Really good! a picture with the river. Some cayak rowers passing by.

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Minutes later

Tried to spot my rabbit girl. And congratulate her. She felt a touch out of breath around the 8miles mark. I felt it clearly I couldn’t drag her too much out of that rhythm. But seeing her again later, after my falter, made me think she made it to a great outcome (came 5/6th in the women’s race)! I wish I saw her number.

Mind-flow throughout

Falcons flying. Many. Remembered Cuba cause of that. But those were vultures there…
thought of meerkats, and the angle of attack. How they cuddle and prime each other.
Thought of Stefan for a while. And of me thinking of him back in Paris on my way to Ioanid. Of Dragos and how I was holding him at my chest when on the boat ride in Greece 4 years ago.
Of Ocsana. Not that much. Still..
Of MC and our bet. What would I need now – in this race – to be able to really build up to what his PB is right now. These thoughts made me step up the pace. And feel a fresh energy.
Of my dad(?) maybe, not sure, feels like he was there, yes… how he chose stuff in life, how I’m there at their moment of decision on my own now, how much uncertainty there is in every step of a parent’s way despite the make believe, but this may have been an after race thought.
Thought of the wind slant and remembered CristiM. A couple of times. But very briefly. How a windsurf sale and board would lean in/against it.
Tried to remember where’s the last halfthon race of the year in Uk – December – Bedfordshire ..? (yes, but it’s on the 3rd Dec, I am probably gonna be away then).
Thought about aging nicely. Fit. about how Stefan is thought of as strong by his kids. Then how am I? Nimble I’d say. I wear Nimbus. Which is a story of the clouds and how we run like that. The wind and stuff.
Thought a lot about the running profile, how to step properly, how to vary the contact surface, etc. About breathing, having enough for the race, keeping composure while at it. About a new beginning.

It’s cold and a bit windy, I’m changing. (Yes, many ways.)

Hours later

Stomach cramps on the way back for about 1.5 hours as I waited for the train. All the way to Paddington. Fell asleep on the train reading an article from Radu about self-imagined Messiahs in the world now. 7 of them.
Stomach ache gave in only after a portion of brown rice chicken katsu curry from Paddington. A nice Romanian girl serving. Me writing notes about the race.

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Reeling off

Chased Loving Vincent for a while in the town. Got Dan to join me. Rode biles about 12km up and down from cinema to cinema as I kept coming across sold out events. Natural Photographer of the Year had been my initial plan, but that one was sold out too.
Got to see Vincent in the end @ Cine Lumiere:
Eu: Vazuram Loving Vincent impreuna.
O poezie vizuala. Incredibil ce au fost in stare polonezii si echipa.
povestea e so and so, nu e rea dar nu te da pe spate, detective style, dar imaginile… well, stunning!
Dan: Loving Vincent este una din cele mai bune destinații a fondurilor europene atrase de Polonia. Am zis. Poezie

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Last but not least.
Midnight over midnight watched Opening Night (last 1.5 hours) by John Cassavetes.
Been meaning to. Came up twice in conv with directors at the Film Fest. And it is a fine piece of film and acting craft. I wish though that the Method Acting innuendos stayed there and brought more up. While he chooses a more performance piece of marvel, getting her to pull through the whole opening night in spite of barely standing up for how drunk she was. Then what?! the whole question about accepting age or not falls prey to the gimmickry of craft and how you overcome drunkenness! a sort of pretending to overcome anxieties, by drowning them in farcical “understanding”. Not! A good film and consistently good acting, but it held a lot more as a story to deserve such an ending. I mean the public (both of the film and of the play) is taken for a ride… like we’re stupid or something….
I loved the dialogue, especially the one in the original play, some of the so called improvisation. The craziness. The editing through obscure/seemingly erratic close ups. So technically quite good!

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