Thursday, September 07, 2006

Sand Underfoot...

There are times in life when goals are being achieved and everything seems exciting. Not everything in my life is perfect right now. Work, in particular, is proving to be very stressful this week, which is probably why I’m writing this rather than typing up the minutes to the meeting I just attended or reworking my figures for the latest draft costings I’m finalising for a big project. But the fact that I’m feeling so good about other areas of my life is making the work issues a lot easier to deal with.

Last night the jog squad ran from the gym to the Fisherman’s Table, back as far as the Freyberg Pool, and then met up at the concrete steps at the Southern end of Oriental Bay. We spent the next half an hour sprinting along the sand and jogging slowly back along the footpath. The Northerly was still blowing, but down by the water we were sheltered. The famed golden sand was tinged with the black colour of diesel at the high tide mark, and fringed with seaweed.

From the waterline the noise of the cars was muffled by the seawall, the main sounds the waves as they washed in and the rasping of my breath. The sand has a surprisingly coarse texture that is more like crushed glass than you would expect. It crunched beneath my feet as I ran. I could smell the slightly fermented, sharp odour of inner-harbour sea water, and the breeze carried with it an occasional hint of the spilt diesel.

I kept as close to the waves as possible, trying to find a firm surface to run on. I was too busy trying to keep my footing and not turn an ankle to really turn up the speed. But I was lifting my legs and pumping with my arms, and that small stretch of sand started to feel like a huge distance after the first couple of circuits.

I remember looking at the faster girls all running together in a bunch and being frustrated that I wasn’t with them, despite how hard I’ve worked. I decided that it was perfectly possible for me to be running at their speed. So when we ran back to the gym I stayed at the front. I made it back in a reasonably intact state, rather smug with myself. Having said that, it’s not that I’m that far behind them, but when Allie’s not there I do tend to end up running in a little space of my own.

So that was the major chunk of this week’s running over until Saturday. I am blown away by the increase in my fitness and strength over the last couple of weeks. I can run these long hard runs, then get up the next day and do it all again. I joke that I feel like a machine, but it is obviously much more organic than that. My body is simply being primed to work at an optimal level.

This morning Duck took me through a quite intense hour of circuit-style weights training, focusing on the upper body and core. At the end of each circuit I did ten full press-ups. By the end of the workout I’d completed 100 in total. I remember getting out of hospital after being diagnosed with Addison’s and nearly bursting into tears because I was so weak I could barely do one. I’ve come a proverbial and literal long way.

On Saturday we are running 80 minutes, and I already know from Duck’s hedged comments that we are running up to Roseneath and that parts of the route are so steep we will be walking them. Why this is a prospect that excites me I am not entirely sure!

No comments: