Friday, February 02, 2007

Doomsday awaits

It's 11 pm on a Friday night, and I'm at home.

Orchestra Baobab is playing at a club downtown. It doesn't even start for another hour. I could get up right now and go and I'd be early.

And Youssou Ndour, who is probably Senegal's most famous musician, and who plays here every weekend he's not on tour, and who, after nearly a year of living here I STILL haven't seen, won't hit the stage for another three hours at least.

And yet?

I'm staying home.

There's something very wrong with this picture. And also? Terribly right.

Because tomorrow, I'm waking up and I'm going to run 10 miles. Or so. (I would give a lot for a mile marker somewhere or other...)

Ah, runner-girl-with-no-life-Naomi, I actually miss being you.

Today, I called the discount running store where I've bought all my running shoes and I ordered a new pair. And you know what the best part was? The woman on the phone was not even a tiny bit fazed that I was calling her from Senegal to ask her to mail (to my parents in NY, who are coming to visit) the exact right brand, model and size shoe.

I'm only kicking myself that I didn't think to ask her to put some chocolate Powergels (with caffeine!) in the box.

March 11th is the Dakar Half Marathon. I've been telling people for MONTHS that I was going to run it.

And I meant it. Except for the part where I did any training. I've been riding my new bike. Which is awesome, by the way: bright yellow (like a taxi!) and a great way to get around. But ten and twenty minute rides do not an IronGirl make.

I've also been running. Sporadically. Up until about two weeks ago, I ran about 3 miles at most, maybe three times a week. (In the alternate reality universe in which three times a week means, oh, I don't know, once in a blue moon?)

Most of me knew that was going to be a problem. I could see myself clearly: I was the potbellied forty-five-year-old former high school football star trying to recapture his former glory. The one who plays a pick-up game with the current football stars. The one who ends up having knee surgery.

And I'm not trying to say that you can't be in the best shape of your life at forty-five. Because forty-five is young and I plan to be both very hot and very fit when I'm forty-five. Even if I (continue to) have a potbelly.

But the former football star in my story? Not fit. Out of shape.

Which is, funnily, enough, something that I am also. Out of shape.


That girl. The one whose voice, BY THE WAY, isn't loud enough to get me into my running shoes? Is plenty loud enough to be all, "13 miles? What's the worst that can happen? You can always walk a little."

The worst that can happen, indeed.

And so I march toward my doom.

But the strange thing? I think I might actually be able to pull this off. I'll tell you, the fear of utterly failing in front of new(-ish) friends can really get you out the door. The craziest part is, it's not that bad.

On Thursday, I ran for 80 minutes. It was pretty great, actually. I wasn't breaking any landspeed records, but I wasn't collapsed in a heap either.

It helped that it wasn't hot. It helped A LOT.

And it helped that I hadn't eaten white rice in the preceding 24-hours. (I'll just leave it at that.)

At the end, I was kind of convinced that, if I keep this up, I might just live through this disaster.

I mean, really, 13 miles? What's the worst that can happen. Right?



Blogger David said...

You can do it. Just start building some weekly base miles.

10:23 PM  
Blogger Jason The Running Man said...

Great blog, found you off CRN. Good luck with your marathon.

1:33 PM  
Anonymous jeanne said...

you've got what, six weeks? OF COURSE YOU CAN DO IT! just keep upping those long runs. What's the worst that can happen? You burst into flames?! (um, is hot there. I hear.) You'll have fun. Then, you'll want to do it again, to see if you can beat your time. That's the WORST that can happen.

2:34 PM  
Blogger Tiffany said...

Thanks for the laughs... of course you can do it! You've got a good month now to kick it into gear :)

12:33 AM  

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