You see that smile? I know on the outside it looks like the smile of someone who has just finished a half marathon, but really it’s the grimace of someone who was swearing so much on the inside that even her mother (who swears rather prodigiously herself) would be shocked.
Also, you’ll note that I’m holding a beer. That was my third one. After running 21km. I was really quite drunk.
There is no other reason on God’s green earth that I would be smiling, because not only did the Skukuza Half herald the return of my old arch enemy ITB, but it also brought with it a new – although not entirely unsuspected – frustration. The Cycling Husband. Who is now also, of course, a Running Husband. Who, despite having only run a sum total of around 30km in his life, just casually ran a sub-two hour half marathon. As one does.
His shoes are still absolutely, pristinely white.
I swear, if I didn’t love running so much, I would chuck my shoes – which are worn, and torn and bloody dirty – in the nearest Zibi bin.
Don’t get me wrong. I am absolutely and utterly proud of The Cycling Husband, for being able to pick up running and take to it like a Kenyan. But I am also absolutely and utterly mad with him, for being able to pick up running like and take to it like a Kenyan.
I am also absolutely and utterly mad with him for running like a Kenyan, leaving me limping on the side of the road. In lion territory.
Granted, I did tell him to Go. That I was Fine. That he could do Nothing. Three warning words in three sentences. He really should have known better.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t half hoping he’d trip on a warthog on the way in.
Of course, my frustration has been amped up by the return of my ITBS, and the resultant blend of emotions is something akin to the Perfect Storm, a rather vicious and unpredictable mass of energy that has the capacity to explode violently at any given moment, for no reason other than the fact that we have run out of rusks. Or coffee. (Although, to be fair, running out of coffee is a rather serious offence, and no one in my family would be willing to take that risk right now.)
To the Cycling Husband’s credit, he is acutely aware of the fine line that he has run, and he is doing his level best to downplay it; to reassure me that I will be fine, that my knee will heal, that I will be able to run again.
Even though the ITBS is not his fault; the IPS (otherwise known as Injured Pride Syndrome) is another matter entirely.
He is also limping around the house, in a brave attempt to show that he is not immune to the perils of running. I say brave, because I may very well kill him if this continues. In fact, if he uses up the last of my Cataflam, he may as well dig his own grave.
For my part, I started out trying to be gracious. While grimacing and stretching and staggering though the final 10km of the race, I pictured Caroline Woestman post Comrades. But then I drank fourteen beers in an effort to restore my sense of humour, and the result was less Woestman and more just plain woes.
Woes, the Afrikaans word meaning mad, in the snorting buffalo fashion of mad. Not woes, as in the uppercrust English “Oh woe is me!”.
Woes with the Cycling Husband for so effortlessly becoming a Running Husband, yes; but mostly woes with my own unstable and unreliable body for letting me down. And for doing it now, in the run up to my first marathon, when I need so badly to be able to train.
I know it doesn’t sound like it, but I am truly pleased that the Cycling Husband has proved he can run. Because not only might he be required to carry me over the finish line in New York, but he may also very well have to practice his running prowess in order to survive the next couple of months with his woes wife!
Although, given that his knee isn’t really injured, he has a rather unfair advantage.
Disclaimer: I may be frustrated with the Cycling Husband, but I hope he knows I love him despite his athletic prowess. Although, I might love him more if he remembers to slow his pace in NYC xx