Monday, November 24, 2008

Flat roads make a difference

Well, Im in Honiara for 10 days or so for a training course, so my long run this week was on a flat, paved road. What a difference! Good and bad. The bad was that even though I got out fairly early, by about 7:30am the sun was up and hot and on the road out of town the trees are few and far between. I thought Id drunk plenty the day before, but by the time I hit about 5 miles I could tell that I was pretty dehydrated. Aaagh legs dead. No energy. Blech. I mostly ran to Panatina Plaza and got inside where there were a couple of the cafeteria services open. I went to one and asked for a glass of water. This confused the girl behind the counter. Did I want ice and with lime juice? No, I said, I dont have any money, just plain tap water. But the tap water is not good, she says screwing up her face in a look of disgust. Its fine, I replied. She reaches for a bottle of water in the fridge, but I dont have any money, I repeat. Its alright, the owner will pay, she says. Thank you, thank you! and I stood there and drank the entire half litre down. Yum, yum.

Unfortunately, although it quenched my thirst, it didnt give me the burst of energy I was hoping for. So, in the end, I ran about 7.75 miles and walked probably another half mile. Does not fit my pictures of a long run, but its a lot further than Ive run in awhile. Hmmph. And it was much, much faster. Flat and paved took a good minute to a minute and a half off my pace compared to the rocky, muddy hills around Buala.

I need to get myself on some sort of program so I can feel like Im making some progress. Im shocked at how much shape I lost in the transition time between Cameroon and the Solomons. Its hard to not be really hard on myself. I was thinking Id take up the Hansons moderate, consistent plan, but that would have called (on the more aggressive version I was looking at) for doing 6 miles today. Hah! I did a bit more than 4.5 and that was plenty, thank you very much. It did include one steep hill near the beginning and a bit of rolling hills in the middle, but still. . .

I hate not being in shape. On the good side, I have started to lose some weight which I know will make a huge difference. I calculated that every 5lbs slows me down by 30 seconds per mile. That makes it *very* motivating to lose the 15 extra pounds I have on me thats 1.5 minutes per mile! The focus now is to keep losing weight while Im here in Honiara where a) I have access to much, much more food than on Santa Isabel and b) Ill be in a training workshop where theyll bring out food at least 3 times during the day (2 tea breaks and 1 lunch). Yikes! But just cause theres food there doesnt mean I need to eat it. (Thats my mantra for the week.)

In the meantime, Im gonna enjoy the paved roads, the relative flatness, and the absence of mud!

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