Word of the Week: Focus

The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry (adapted from Robert Burns). How true. Just as my mother was ready to move into her new cottage, the retirement home had a power outage which has still not been restored! After five days.

All the boxes have been unpacked and stored into the many cupboards and drawers. The bed has been made. The last of the curtains have been hung. The telephone has been transferred. We just have to hang the pictures on the walls and install the TV and her turntable. So we are waiting for the power to be restored so that she can move in.

Shortly after writing my previous article, I took ill. I have always prided myself on not needing to take time off from work because I don’t get sick. I haven’t had the ‘flu in more than 20 years. But this was an inflammation of sorts, like a stomach flu, that came in waves and left me in huge pain and at times doubled up and unable to walk.

I had a two and a half hour case study presentation interview scheduled last week, which I felt that I could not attend. What if I had a wave of pain during the interview? So I left it for as late as possible to assess if I thought that I would be okay. On the morning of the interview, I cancelled. The organization was very understanding and are looking to reschedule for this coming week.

I did manage to make a second interview with another organization. Because these were later on the week and only two half hour meetings, I thought that I could risk it. I still had to be at the top of my game; I was interviewed by the team leads and the sponsor of the project. I had some pain driving out to the interview, but otherwise I was fine.

The pain in my stomach also meant that I was unable to continue my running program. And then when I thought that the inflammation had subsided enough for me to take a walk, temperatures in Joburg plummeted. And the wind chill factor made the outdoors icy. But the last two days there was little to no wind, and when I stood out in the sun, it seemed quite warm. So I whipped on my running gear and popped out for a walk.

Oh my gosh! It was freezing in the shade! And there I was, in a short sleeved t-shirt, no warm undergarments. Note to self, wear long sleeves next time! But I persevered and continued to walk. My feet felt numb on the freezing cold road. Eventually, after about 12 minutes, I felt my feet warm up, just my toes still numb. And as I turned around at the end of the road, I decided to run.

I felt good, so I decided to carry on for as long as I could. And when I saw the other end of the road in sight, I told myself out loud how proud I was of myself! That was my single longest non-stop running stretch for many years. And I had worked up quite a sweat too. Elated, I turned at the end of the road and ran/walked poles back to my house. I had cut two more minutes off my time for the distance!

Now the primary objective is not to decrease my time, although that would be good. My objective is to get to at least 7km in training so that I can feel confident taking on a 10km run on 11 August. Which is now just five weeks away. I have lost a week of training and that is difficult to make up. I am starting to get nervous.

My husband has just informed me that there is a 5km road race next week Sunday. I’m pretty confident that I will be able to complete a 5km run. So I’m off to the sports shop tomorrow to buy a race entry. This target will keep me focused on my training for this week. Road races are measured and timed. So it will also be a good test of how ready I am for the 10km.

Until next time ☕️

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