I was having trouble getting up in the morning, always lulled and dragged back into dreams and sleep when emerging from the shallows of sleep, missing lessons, arriving late, wasting time, when suddenly things changed. I bought a radio alarm clock! Scott bought it, I paid him back, and for 11.90 euros I now have a radio alarm clock that helps me get out of bed in the morning without the anguish of “should I get up? Can I hear anyone else awake? Do I really NEED to get up?”. I am sure everyone has experienced this before. I did not like it, so I tried to fix this problem. And now, when the radio alarm clock turns on in the morning and shows me some people ARE awake at this time, making radio shows in Catalan and Spanish, with music that also reflects achievement, it shows that the day is waiting for me, and I may still emerge tired and sleepy, but with ease! I do not need to fight my mind and then whilst fighting fall asleep again and fail! Now I have a morning friend.
All this has led me to be able to get up in the morning and be productive. I felt like I was myself again. Full of ambition, I agreed, at the tempting of my friend Leo, to run in the 33rd Cursa El Corte Inglés or “EL CORTE INGLÉS CURSA”. It is a mini marathon of about eleven kilometres, and I am going to die. Seeing as I play sport which requires short sharp running, and with moments of rest, like Squash and Hockey, and I have had a fear of running ever since school when people did CROSS-COUNTRY(!?!) I am terrified. But now is the time to face that fear. I must take hold of my own life before suddenly it is at its end. I have always wanted to do this, always been overcome with emotion when marathons happen and I am able to watch them go by, but I have been afraid – but I must do the things that scare me in order to truly be alive. If I do not, I will become listless and fade away into a piece of tracing paper that views what others do, other people´s ambitions, comforted by strong coffee and clean sheets, with empty money and a boring job that pays the bills – NO! This is not living. I will be ambitious again.
The 33rd Cursa El Corte Inglés is a race on foot that is open to everyone and is going to take place in ONE WEEK on Sunday, April 3rd, 2011. Registration is free, and this is one of the most important aspects of the marathon: I recently ran out of money and so doing something that makes me ambitious again, and makes me run, and potentially become fitter, for free, is like being paid. I am going to die for free. I keep saying I am going to die: I am speaking in metaphor, and this metaphor expresses the strength of feeling inside of me. Fear.
The route is certified by the Catalan Federation of Athletics and is 10.766 km through the streets of Barcelona, starting on Passeig de Gràcia – Gran Via at 9.30 AM. I am able to make this early time because now I have a radio alarm clock! (See how this all began.)
The race is apparently not a competitive race, though ” mostly reserved for federated participants only” (don´t know what this means) but it is a popular race in which all citizens are invited to participate. Reading the list of points to read and observe, regarding health, on the Corte Ingles 33a race page, has struck fear and ambition into my heart again. The points were given to “advise… any person that is not an athlete and that wishes to take part in a long distance race” – this is me!!
The website also says that “Runners should eat a light meal 3 or 4 hours before the race.” Since the race begins at 9.30AM, they recommend I wake up at 5AM to eat?? Well, I suppose this is possibly a good idea. I will wait for one more person to confirm this to me before I slot it into my brain schedule. The website also says that “The meal must be especially rich in complex carbohydrates (pasta, potatoes, rice, muesli, etc.). It is not necessary to consume a protein rich diet. It would be advisable to avoid fats and an excessive sugar intake.” This means not croissants, or muffins, maybe a pile of potatoes? This is possible. But then it goes on to say something similar: not a light meal but a light breakfast 3 or 4 hours before the race, that “must be especially made up of fluids and carbohydrates (for example, tea and toast). Avoid fat and proteins. Sweets and sugar are not advisable. Drink only decaffeinated coffee, if you have any coffee at all.” I love tea and toast! I will make tea and toast for breakfast.
The website also tells me that “it would be advisable to have a hot bath and a massage and to stretch the night before the race.” This sounds great! I will stretch and have a hot shower (since I do not have a bath and I see it as a worthy replacement) and then stretch again and then go to sleep the night before the race!
I need to “Rest well the night before the race. Do not take tranquilizers.” I will not take tranquilizers.
I will end with the analysis of the website race tips. I need to run everyday so after class today I will go to the running machines in the gym. This is not the same as real life running but my buddy Leo is running on his own back and I find it difficult to mobilise myself to run alone, and the running machine is an aid BUT WHAT AM I DOING! I WILL MOBILISE! I have to stop listening to the scared Zosia in my head and just get on with it. Ok, then, maybe I will go home and run to the beach and then along the beach-front. It´s a different kind of terror for me, these things, but of course I can do it!
Yesterday Leo bailed on a run and I got really irrationally angry. I was also trying to work on an assignment for History of English, analysing an Early Middle English text called the Ormulum (actually written near where my home is, in Bourne, Lincolnshire), which was not aided by my laptop being very temperamental. It sometimes will not turn on, and sometimes turns itself off, by itself, and then won´t turn on. But I eventually finished my work at 3.30AM, aided by the fact I had gone to the beach to play beach volleyball. This was fun, in the sun, with the wind, in the fresh air, running and jumping and getting the ball over the net, and so I rested, and my anger subsided to a normal amount. Now I must face my fear alone. I think this is why I was angry. I will decide whether or not to run in the gym or to run in the fresh air, but I need to find something to help me overcome my fear. I do not intend to give up. See you on the other side!