Today was a bit of a gloomy day, outside and in. I got up at 5:30am. My hope was to do a pre-race rehearsal as far as the morning routine goes, then drive the course on the way to the start and then back up until mile 15 or so and then do my last longer run. However, things did not quite go that way….
First, it took a lot longer than it should have to find the right car/driver that was supposed to take me. Then I found out that the driver had no idea about the area and since my map was not exactly too great, he had to stop and do all kinds of driving gymnastics about every 5 miles. It was pouring down too and believe it or not, the speed limit, even on freeways, in Beijing seems to be 80 KILOMETERS/hour. Needless to say, after about two hours of sitting and stiffing up in the car, driving by enormous buildings with names like “China Glory Center”, I was ready to call it a day. I briefly saw the Tiananmen square where the marathon will start and the first two kilometers and then the blue line (which the marathon will follow all the way to the National Stadium) disappeared in the park. I just told the driver (or rather signaled since he had NO English) to turn and take the fastest way home.
By the time we got to the Olympic village I had been sitting in the car for over three hours. I certainly did not have the last longer run in me. I ran around the village for five miles and felt completely drained. I tried not to dwell on feeling so bad too much-one can’t feel great running every day and I’d rather feel like this now than in a week. Insecurity in us running creatures is a state we can easily slip into though.
In the afternoon, for the first time since I came here, I took a nap. I did not fall asleep, but I just lay there energyless for 50 minutes too tired to move. But, because I knew I would not fall asleep at night if I kept napping, I made myself get up. The only thing I had energy for was to watch a movie. My friends Albert and Malajka were kind enough to send some movies with me to China so I picked one called “Hillary and Jackie”. If you thought Thelma and Luise was depressing, watch this one. (Albert, I thought I requested “cheerful, souless, unRussian types of films”?). Now, completely down in the dumps, I figured I needed to be around people to snap out of the gloominess so I walked down to the Slovak Olympic office and watched the women’s road cycling race. Two of the Slovak cyclists who did that same race (only longer) yesterday were there and served as commentators, which was kind of fun. I wish Alex could have been there-he would have enjoyed chatting with them about their bikes and biky things. A gutsy British girl won the race so it was inspiring (it was pouring down there whole race and she got back to the front pack with two kilometers to go-which is VERY unusual in cycling and had it in the end). Now is the evening and I feel a lot better about life again. I went for a dinner, saw Jeremy Warriner on my way (!). I so need to bring my camera with me at all times. Now, I am considering even going for another short run and then it’s off to prepare for the last hard workout tomorrow early in the morning.
It was pouring down so this Estonian rider chose to workout in the hallway. I have never seen those rolls...
NOTE: Some of you have asked me about the air in the email. I think I may have mentioned it at one point in the blog, but the air does not seem to affect me too badly during the actual workout. I feel like coughing afterwards. Today, after it rained, it felt so much better! Funny, how a few days in the 90s makes a high 70s (Farenheit) day feel pleasant. I wish it would rain before the marathon….