- 25/5/2009 <--Prev : Next-->
COMRADES HERE I COME !
The Comrades Marathon came early this year didn't it ? It was only when we got to Joburg on Sunday and we heard that Zimbabwean Stephen Muzhingi had won the race, that I even realised it had even been run.
Normally one is aware of the preparations for the race when one encounters masses of runners limbering up on every road in the country, and then the day after there are not quite as many, just the dedicated few masochists who make it off the couch.
So needing my usual five km jog rather badly on Monday evening, I sallied forth amongst the sundowner "dog walking set" who festoon the little place where we normally reside when visiting "She Who Must Sing"
It was only after the third sympathetic nod that I got, that I was aware that I really must have looked like one of the runners who had just run the 89 km Comrades Marathon the day before. !!
It dawned on me that the looks I was getting were possibly more congratulatory combined with sympathy, as I was feeling a tad stiff (after all I had pruned a bush and washed a dish which is pretty darn hard work !!)
So my grimaces on limbering up had been noticed and hence the admiring stares .... it was only then that I noticed that I had donned, quite accidentally of course, an old Comrades Tee shirt that She Who Must Run had given me several Comrades ago.
One never wears THIS years tee shirt of course, it must always be an old faded one from a decade ago, that shows that one is a REAL RUNNER !!
Rubbing my thighs (just slightly in a nonchalant sort of way) too had the desired effect from the next passers by, and I was convinced that someone even muttered "Well Done!" .....
Now my running gait is unusual I will admit, its kind of a cross between a shuffle and an ungainly lollop, but it does look somewhat like the gait of a person who had run 89 kms the day before.... which must account for all this glorious attention I was receiving.
I had seconded She Who Must Run several times at various races, including four Comrades I might add, with a great deal of pride !! And so I know exactly what a runner goes through the day after Comrades.
I have lovingly tended those bleeding feet of my baby girl several times now, and watched the pain in her eyes while rubbing those awfully abused leg muscles, so I have all those grimaces taped I assure you !!
As I glanced into a window in one of the houses I was "running" past, I noticed that I was looking pretty "Comrades-Like" in my old faded Comrades Tee shirt and the black lycra tights I had purloined from "She Who Must Sing's cupboard.
It was mighty cold and I was grateful for the extra stretchability that modern lycra has. Hopefully the fabric will have returned to its normal size by the time She Who Must Sing needs them again, maybe if I wash them in hot water ?
But back to my fetching silhouette in the window, possibly the legs were a little larger than those of the average runner ? But then, do these runners not wrap their legs in yards of crepe bandage to keep out the winter chills ? Or perhaps The Doggy walking crowd might think that my muscles were still in cramp from the race, hence that extra bit of bulkiness in the thighs ??
I thought with pride of my countryman Stephen Muzhingi, what a feat, what an achievement. If anyone chanced to ask if I knew him, or perhaps even if I had ever "run" with him, could I possibly tell an itsy bitsy little fib ? I mean, after all we have possibly run on the same soil, maybe even on the same road, well certainly in the same country at any rate !!
I am pretty sure I could have given Stephen Muzhingi a run for his money on the downhill Comrades race, I am pretty fast downhill after all. If you carried as much adipose tissue in your back pocket as I do, the sheer force of gravity alone makes one run downhill pretty fast !!
It is a well known fact that HeeHoo and I are pretty hot on our tandem downhill too.
Our combined dead weight - precariously balanced on the Canondale's tiny tyres, makes us a terrifying combination on a downhill.
I mean we even passed Andy Lang once going downhill on one of the Tours De Falcon !! So do not underestimate my downhill running ability, it is legendary .
Oh yes, getting back to my "after Comrades limber up" - not all of it was pretense I hasten to assure you, some of it was quite true, I did have a few aches and pains. I had, after all twisted my knee during the City Clean Up last week. It was not while using a broom I hasten to add, the closest I came to handling a broom was when I handed one to HeeHoo.
It was when I had to clamber on the back of the truck with the KGVI Marimba Band that I twisted my knee. It was a hard morning, sitting on the back of the truck taking photographs of the 1000 or so workers cleaning the city, I was positively exhausted by the end of the morning !
Oh yes, I could get used to this sort of sympathetic adulation... . I passed another doggy walker and rubbed my poor aching thigh, maybe I will start training for next year's Comrades, I thought as I deftly leapt out of the way of a passing car traveling at five km an hour.
Yes indeed Comrades Marathon 2010, watch out here I come !!