Sunday, 6 September 2015

Race Weekend Recap

Hi everyone,
Here I am on Sunday evening, writing my weekend recap and also processing a bit.
It's been a full weekend.  Saturday got started with work around the house, which included learning how to unblock an epically blocked sewage pipe.  How bad was it?  Absolutely choked.  A dirty job but a dead necessary one: the toilets are much happier now.
This has nothing to do with anything, but I was kind of struck
that they need to do this in a rehabilitation hospital.
About 11:30am I got on the road for the Mornington Peninsula for today's race.  The drive itself was unremarkable: I flipped stations on the radio for most of the time I was moving, except when I entered the radio dead-zone you encounter which crossing the Great Dividing Range.  At that stage I listened to a CD I burned of a preacher discussing whether we are living in the End Times (this gentleman is persuaded we are).  My interest in this is less geopolitical than philosophical.  I was interested to compare it with the writings of the Fifth Monarchy Men and Abiezer Coppe.  What intrigues me is that in today's apocalyptic, the threat is external to the society, rather than coming from within it.
A propos of nothing (except the general God-bothering theme), I was interested to see this ad in the Shepparton Adviser this week.  They're recruiting!  

I got down to Mornington by about 3:30 and went to Mornington Park to collect my race bib.
The Park has one of the best entrances I've ever seen. 

I went on to Aldi to pick up some supplies for dinner.  From experience I've learned to eat light the night before a long race, and to avoid things that have a lot of fibre.  This meant that for me dinner was going to lean heavily to fish and banana.  Happily, because this was Aldi it meant that I could pay for it with loose change!

I had some time on my hands by the time I go to Flinders, so I went to have a look at the walkway for the old telegraph station and at the new plaque on the war memorial (it lists the district's Second World War veterans by name).  The memorial has one of the best lookouts over Westernport Bay and Kennon Cove, and last night the ocean was definitely co-operating.
Kennon Cove
Westernport Bay
I walked down to the Pier to get the air and stretch my legs.  The water between Flinders and Phillip Island seemed almost to merge into the sky.
I was up bright and early for the race and drove over to Mornington.  The starting line was right on Port Phillip Bay and the entire course had us running along the road along the coast.
It's a beautiful stretch of coast.  The sort of thing that makes you feel strong!  And this was a good thing: you remember when I did last week's race I just wasn't feeling my running spark?  Well, this morning I felt as strong and ready to race as I ever have.
I headed out fairly strongly and thing I was in probably the leading third of the back, with the intention of getting enough of a lead for the other runners not to catch up after they began to tire.  I felt my own pace slacken after a time and so I set a solid speed that I knew I could hold to and went with that.  It was a well set up race and the course had all of the distances (Half Marathon, 10K and 5K at once, which I thought was great.  Lots of people brought their kids, which is always a good thing - got to give them the running bug young!
Ultimately I finished in 1:52:45.  This was almost exactly one minute slower than last week, and on a more rolling course: I'm counting that as a win!
It would have been nice to explore Mornington and maybe have some fish and chips and white wine, but I needed to get on the road for Shepparton - mum was being released from hospital for a few hours to come and have lunch.
I wasn't feeling great while I was on the road, I guess in large part because of a long run, no coffee and not having taken my tablet this morning.  On the other hand, it seems that was the right frame of mind to listen to Light FM - Melbourne's radio station with a mix of Christian music and soft rock.  I'm not a huge fan of Christian music usually: it just seems kind of forced.  But, I was enjoying the Australian Christian Top 25.  I did hear one thing that I really liked - a song called 'Exhale' by a singer whose stage name is "Plumb".
Music appreciation aside, I stopped at the Wallan BP for fuel and (almost as badly needed) coffee and something to take a tablet with.  I felt much better afterwards!
I felt pretty good when I was north of the Ranges and seeing fields of ripening canola again.  Melbourne has no hold over me now.  If there is hope to keep what is good in the world, it lies inland.
I was back right on time for lunch - Michael was just lighting the barbeque!  Mum was looking good and pleased with the idea of being discharged from hospital soon.  Second Oldest Sister and Little Sister had come up too, and it was good to see them.  Second Oldest Sister had baked up the best apple pie I've ever had, and brought up a cake she'd baked as well.
Two things happened during lunch that really made me mad though.  One was that Michael decided that Little Sister's steak was barbequed too rare (although this was kind of her fault too - she's a very picky eater) and with a great air of unappreciated martyrdom went outside to grill it a bit further.  That was awkward and cast a pall of tension over lunch.  Then after we'd finished our steaks and were beginning to think about Second Oldest Sister's pie, one of the neighbours who dad hadn't met before drove up outside to explain something about a fence.  Well, Dad and Michael promptly went outside and talked to him out there for about 30 minutes, and then invited him in for coffee in the middle of what was still meant to be lunch so he could have a cup of tea with him and talk further (for another hour).  I kept myself busy as a way of hiding the fact that I was livid: it didn't seem to matter to him that it was mum's few hours out of hospital, or that Second Oldest Sister had come up from Melbourne, or that she'd clearly gone to some effort to make nice things for lunch: he had a new audience to talk to and that was all that mattered.  This tended to confirm something that I said last week: I'm single by choice.  Every person who has (or thinks they have) a significant other somehow treats them like complete dirt.  I have two words to say on the subject: Fuck. That.  I'd rather live alone and die alone than be either 50% of that equation.
After Second Oldest Sister went back to Melbourne and mum back to hospital, I took the dog on a good long walk to loosen my legs up. and brought up some more firewood.  Looking forward to a Skype-date with the girls tonight.
Hope your weekend is going great!

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