Have I mentioned deep tissue massage as the ultimate cure for all aches and pains?
Unfortunately, there’s a catch. Deep tissue massage is not relaxing, and it’s not fun. A small, amazing Thai woman named Kala literally stands on my back, or sometimes on my glutes, or on my hamstrings. She finds the most painful spots on my body and digs her fingers or her heels into them until I’m almost crying.
“Are you okay?” she asks.
“I suppose,” I say.
“Are you still alive?” she asks.
“Then you’re okay.”
And she keeps going.
It’s a good place to set the bar for okay, and I’m sure I will remember it when I’m dragging myself along a 42km run, tempted to quit. Am I still alive? Yup. Well then, I’m okay. Keep going.
Kala jokes that she beats me up. It’s not really a joke. After one session I had a row of bruises along my bicep that had people giving me strange looks every time I went to the pool. But whatever she does, it works. I come out of there feeling like I have a new body. It’s a reset button—until I wreck my body all over again and have to go back.
Speaking of wrecking my body . . . I hit 150km this past weekend on the bike: a milestone. And the best thing about it (besides the ride itself, which was absolutely wonderful): I could have kept going. Although at about 140km, I had a thought: on race day, I’m going to have to run a marathon after this. And I started laughing, because really, what else can you do?
The runs are getting longer, although they’re much slower than I would like. But I’m finally allowing my legs to dictate the pace, rather than my head. It turns out if I go slow enough, I can basically run forever without things breaking down. Well, ‘run’ is perhaps the wrong way to describe it. I’m still alternating running with walking, and I’m not in love with that, but I also know this is how I’m going to get through the marathon so I’ve made my peace with it.
As for the swim, I love to complain, but it’s stupid because . . . Kits pool. Sasamat. Those are the places I get to swim, and they couldn’t be nicer. Although I do have one thing to say about swimming: how can such a basic activity be so damn complicated? All I’m doing is moving my body through the water, but: what is my elbow doing? Where is my hip? Am I rotating enough? How is my hand entering the water? Where is it entering the water? What’s it doing once it’s in the water? What about the other arm? What about my head? What’s happening with the kick?
I’ve been swimming for years and I’m still not doing it right.
These are the last four weeks of hard training before the taper begins. It’s going to get worse before it gets better. I see early bedtimes in my future, but also chocolate bars, Coke and pizza—the diet of champions :-).
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