17 September 2017

The ravages of time

These photos were taken nearly 50 years apart. On the left, a recent trip home to New Zealand dressed in dashing salmon pink. On the right, back in 1970 when I lived in Fiji. At 2, I didn't have a care in the world. These days I subconsciously choose to live in a state of freneticism. I know it’s not good for me but for the moment I can’t see any other way. Whoever coined the ‘work life balance’ concept didn't bloody live in Japan and that's for sure.

When I run, everything is way less complicated. Time slows and life again seems orderly and as Spock would say, logical. For me, it’s that simple. Running is the greatest medicine/placebo known to us humans.

I reckon I’ve managed summer really well. There’ve been no heat exhaustion incidents and no significant injuries. PBs are again likely this coming season. There I’ve said it … an absolute certainty no less. My coach reckons I have two very soft personal bests. My half at 1.29.14 and my full at 3.16.14. Fair suck of the sav I thought at the time but on reflection he’s probably right.

My 10k PB of 38.57 came out of nowhere earlier in the year and will definitely be near impossible to beat. So, there you have it. I’m serious too. Now marvel at the following. The perfect race progression to achieve the before mentioned goals.

· 10km at Awaji on 15 October
· 10km at Oizumi on 26 November
· 21.1km at Kameoka on 10 December
· 42.2km at Kakogawa on 23 December
· 42.2km at Senshu on 18 February

- my training programme:

I have to confess at being a little excited. I currently train on a route that begins with a 4km incline which eventually levels out for as long as I want. Then on the way home I’m able to work the quads with a fast downhill over that same 4km stretch. It’s perfect and I’m lucky to have it so close to where I live. In addition, I’ll need to do daily core exercises, lose a little weight and keep my head down when the odd missile passes overhead.

Legends of the 2017 UTMB. Having run a couple of ultra-marathons in the past I can only imagine what it must be like to run the times these guys did over one of the most challenging courses in the world. A 166km route through France, Italy and Switzerland with a total elevation gain of around 9,600m. They are superhuman for sure. I’d love to run the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc. Just getting there would be an achievement. However, as Spock would say “you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing as wanting. This is not logical but it is often true”.

Happy meaningful running my friends.


  1. Good to hear from you Mark. You HAVE changed a bit in 50 years. The act of running is childlike, so it's good to go there as often as possible. Solid plan from the coach - the 28/20 is a tough weekend. Those UTMB runners are amazing but there are some pretty spectacular train wrecks in those races. Anyway, keep your head down. Thanks for 'fair suck of the sav' - haven't heard that one in decades.

  2. Thanks for noticing mate. Very true. Your posts of late have given me plenty to think about. I might sneak the odd season into my schedule but lets just keep it between ourselves ... OK!