Dear former self,
I’m sorry to have abandoned you somewhere by Lake Burley Griffin, but we weren’t really getting along anymore and, frankly, you were holding me back.
You see, I knew I could beat those other girls in the fancy skin-tight running leggings with the white criss-cross zig-zag things down the side. They went too hard, too soon. I could see they were going to fail.
Even though it was freezing and frosty and 6.30am on a Saturday, I was awake enough to remember all that stuff from PE, back at high school, in Hobart. The stuff about breathing rhythms and not killing yourself to win at the start.
And, let’s face it, our nation’s capital isn’t much colder than the city at the heel of the Tasman Sea, there certainly aren’t any icebreakers docked outside the National Library. I may be older and far more desk-bound, but with age has come a degree of determination.
Former self, you told me to remember the pain in my chest and the aches in my thighs, the ragged edges of breathing that turn into cramps, but I ignored you. And I just kept going at the same pace. It paid off.
The whole way along the lake I kept the pack of leggings girls in my sights, but when we turned around, they were utterly buggered. There was no energy in their reserves. By the time we got back to the start, I was way ahead of anyone else and I finished first.
Beginners group conquered. On Wednesday, I’m going to risk it with the intermediate crew.
I bite my thumb at you, former self.
PS I did it in a pair of hole-ridden trackpants.