Three Cheers For Sloth, Indolence, And Procrastination!
Scribed by Spark(l)y
‘One of the greatest lessons I have learned and continually must practice is that in order to really be in control, I must surrender. In the martial arts (and golf) things must be held lightly. Grabbing too tight, whether it’s my ego, my ‘trowel’, or my action lists, can be dangerous and ultimately ineffective. I must at a moment’s notice be ready to let go, walk away from it all, and do nothing. Nothing at all. I think I’ll practice it some more.’
‘David Allen’ (who he?) (1)
Run Report 1533:
Scribed by Groper (2)
Where: The Mytchett Maze Dash
How far: 20 miles
When: January 1st 1893
Pre-Race Preparation: 2 weeks pre-race taper, reducing XL by 50% per week. 3 Day rest prior to the event including 1 day driving to venue to run in my new car engine. Got there on time along with Blonde Party Girl, Wally, the Speaking Clock and the devoted doctor, Daktari; so keen to run she even hired a car to get her there! The Sunday drivers Pis’t’man Pat and Cinderella had to play catch-up.
Pre-Race Thoughts: Felt confident but panicked 5 mins before the start when I remembered I forgot to lock my front door this morning. Luckily my wife told me she had done it and I focused on the race again. My body is a temple and my mind some sort of similar structure, perhaps a church hall or community room.
Lap Length: 1 mile
Running Surface: Stadium race with standard track surface. Uneven in places due to inaccurate shot-putting earlier in the day. Daktari had snuck in some sand from Saudia Arabia in her trainers then had the nerve to complain about being made to run on it!
Incline/Decline: None, other than occasional pot-holes caused by the more careless shot-putters.
Start Time: 11 am Finish Time: 3.32 pm
Weather: Sunny, average 90 degrees F. Some clouds. Drizzle for 30 mins about mid-day. Freak blizzard for 5 mins followed by tropical spell circa 1pm.
Pre-Race Routine: 10 mins warm-up, 5 mins dynamic stretch, checked shoe laces, said prayers to all gods who may be listening. Signed last will and testament, just in case.
Shoes: Initially planned on wearing roller-skates but was told this was against the rules and wouldn’t have worked in the shot-putter pot-holes anyway! Changed to New Balance running shoes.
Socks: Cool-max weave running socks stuffed with old newspaper soaked in vinegar. Possibly a mistake, but the vinegar came in useful later for the chips.
Fluids taken during the race: 100mls water every hour provided by our considerate hare; 3 pints Guinness at noon (probably a mistake).
Energy/Calories consumed prior to the race: Full English Breakfast with extra Porridge and Black Pudding.
Energy/Calories consumed During the race: Stopped for Fish and Chips at 2pm; large portion, maybe 1500 calories. In retrospect a little heavy on the digestive system and had to walk for the next 7 laps with chronic indigestion.
Sodium/Electrolytes consumed During the race: Lots of salt on the chips, maybe 3gms, thanks to Daktari’s contribution.
General Observations: The actual running went well but it would have been nice not to have had to walk the majority of the distance; my pace was fairly good and steady apart from the periods spent walking off lunch and staggering to the loo.
Things that worked for this event:
The shoes were comfortable, at least until the newspaper and vinegar leaked. My muscles were well rested prior to the event, because I didn’t participate in the previous week’s Dorset endeavours. I was in full voice and able to frighten all the local dog-walkers with my full-belt ‘ON ON!’ holler (this PH3 lot are all mumblers), although I had some verbal competition from the visiting Doctor who attempted to maintain a running commentary (geddit?) on the status of flour blobs: ‘Check one, check two, check 3!’. What was that all abaht?
I was also able to finish the race still fairly fresh as I had let Blonde Party Girl and Sparkly do most of the falsies, particularly the one where we encountered a circle with a blob in the centre – meant to signify a short-cut, but some people ran back and forth like headless chickens trying to find the correct trail. I wisely conserved my energy and just stood by hollering ‘ON ON!’ authoritatively at passing dog-walkers. Oh – and there was the instance when we were obviously being lured up a steep hill by the strategically placed flour blobs when I knew it had to be the other way. I kept quiet though and reserved my energy, really letting rip on the final down-hill mile and ultimately tying with BPG for line honours. Result!
Things that didn’t work well for this event:
Ate too much for breakfast too soon before the race and probably should try some sort of energy drink rather than deep-fried fast food for in-race nutrition. Guinness consumption should be moved to post-race period, partly to avoid trips to the little boys room during the event.
My mind was a little distracted prior to the race, hence my forgetting to lock the front door and also thinking about this on the starting line. But I managed to focus totally on my running once the race began, only twice being distracted by the lure of chips and booze. Possibly I was, if anything, a little too focused on the race as I accepted the assurances of my wife that she had locked the front door that morning despite, upon later reflection, realising that I am a bachelor. It was disconcerting to discover later that the lady in question had burgled my abode during the time I was running.
Took three days to recover; one day due to the race itself, the other two due to the post-race party. In retrospect, had I gone straight home I may have been in time to prevent many of my family heirlooms being swiped.
Things to Improve for Next Time:
It might be an idea to write a race plan in advance; I should consider a high calorie but more easy-to-digest breakfast, avoid consuming alcohol during the race and limit my consumption afterwards. I should also be on the look-out for unknown women posing as near-relatives.
Truth be told – this was the first of the silly-season’s under-subscribed runs, an annual occurrence at this time of year lasting approximately 6 weeks. The indolent masses stayed away, preferring to busy themselves on more hedonistic pursuits, apart from, that is, those with lame excuses (Hotspur, Paul Newman).
Other than the occasion where we all lost the route (not to mention the plot), this was a well laid run in what appeared to be a maze of paths, with circles aplenty to keep us together – much needed and appreciated given our low participant numbers. We were grateful to our hare for the water en route, freshly delivered from his stylish Jamie Oliver retro cool box (£119 available from www.theidealpad.co.uk), especially as he had marched out with it to an appropriate point, only to discover that he had left the cups behind and had to leg it back to his car for them, then sprint back to where Wally was by now closely circumambulating the mysterious object which, to his mind, looked like a retro UXB and was speed-dialling the Bomb Squad. Welcome back into the fold, Canny Lad – you have been away far too long!
In the Pub (Post-Race Discussions):
Nothing explosive to write about – rather the heat seemed to elicit sloth and dopiness in people, as demonstrated by the bar staff who seemed loathe to serve; not even the lively beer, Speckled Hen, could raise them from their torpor. Once we were settled we looked forward to our resident orator PP regaling us with his latest adventures. But no! As proved by his tardiness at the start, his heat addled brain could only produce a repeat of the ‘Breathalyser’ story that most of us still can’t quite believe! Perhaps we will on the third time of telling! BG procured and produced the chips all the way from Brownsea Island, and for all I know the mayonnaise may have been Hawkeye’e contribution from his sojourn into France.
(1) ‘Acquired’, without permission, from the great W3
(2) With thanks to Groper for being my unwitting accomplice in not scribing this complete and utter false account of events. I was just too lazy to relate a genuine version.