Thursday, 29 March 2012

The masochist's mission

Today my mission was simple.  Wait until the sun decided to reveal itself from behind those conniving clouds, wait until it was sufficiently hot to make the sweat drip from my brow and run into my eyes, and then go stomping off in the sand dunes and try to cover a decent distance within my self imposed time limit of one hour.

The sun finally decided to come out in all its glory at around 2pm and that was it, I was off without a minute to spare, for those clouds have got the better of me too many times the last couple of days.  Even whilst I was leaving the hotel they were playing tricks on me, making bright sunny patches appear on the sand several hundred metres ahead of me and then causing those sunny patches to move relentlessly forward as I began to reach them.  Finally I managed to catch up with them and then I was in the hot baking sun much to my masochistic relief.

I started off at my usual pace but there was a spring in my step today so I pushed a little harder.  Soon I was chugging along like a trusty old steam train, building up speed and momentum as my engine heated up.  I realised that my previous yomps around the dunes had been pathetically slow and that I had not been testing myself to see what I was really capable of.  The pace I managed today was a pace that I would like to do during the race itself.  I was pushing myself, but at a pace that I felt I could maintain for a while.  When I looked down at my heart rate it was around 142 beats per minute, so this gives me a good idea of what I should be looking for during the race.

Now for the juicy part.  How many kilometres did I cover in those undulating dunes in the baking sun, carrying all my equipment and at my perceived race pace you may ask.  Well I can tell you with some sense of pride my friends that I covered 8.5km (5.28 miles).  Even if I don't manage that speed in the dunes on dune day, I am no longer afraid of those dunes.  Those damn dunes have a habit of striking fear into the hearts of us mortal runners who don't live next to a beach or a place where there is sand to run on.  I have run on them enough days in a row now though to appreciate that they can be conquered.  Yes they do sap your energy and yes they do cause you to run slower than normal, but put into perspective they are just another challenge in the many challenges that must be faced in the mighty battle of the MDS.

No comments:

Post a comment