Saturday, 23 February 2013

Today was not a good day to die

It all started so well. I woke up feeling completely healthy, even if a tad tired because our cats had decided that 04.30 is a great time to invent new ways to annoy us. The plan was to run 10 km before I met up with the rest of the group, run another 15 with them and then roll down the hill home for the remaining 4 km on the schedule.

I had no idea how my body would like skipping a week in the schedule and going straight for a 29 km run, but I was anxious to catch up after having missed so much training. It started off well enough, although I kept trying to dislodge the ball of yarn that was stuck in my throat and made it hard to draw in deep breaths. I had great music in my ears, the sun warmed my face even at 8 in the morning and I was looking forward to spending a few hours on my feet.

I was the first one to arrive at our meeting place in the hockey arena, and as soon as I stopped running, I started coughing. It was the kind of meaningless cough that neither gets rid of the source of the irritation nor provides relief; the more I coughed, the worse it seemed to get. I had thankfully taken some water with me, and that did the trick. But I should have seen this as a sign that all was not well in my body yet.

We ran on roads and pavements and the conversation flowed freely. Spring was definitely in the air, and our faces weren't the only ones getting warm: the snow that covered the streets and fields had begun to melt at places, getting mushy and providing no traction whatsoever on slopes. I tried to take it easy when running uphill, but it became more and more of a struggle. This time it wasn't my throat that was the culprit. My legs were on strike. Being the hard-arsed, sociopathic boss that I am, I tried to bully them into obeying me and get them to move forward, but they refused. When we hit the snowmobile tracks, and, later, a soft snow-covered single track in the woods, they gave up completely and I had to walk.

That's when my stomach joined the party and threatened to throw up the banana I had eaten while waiting for the others in the hockey arena. It was either that, or pass out. I felt like reheated day-old monkey excrement. I was scared, truly scared for the first time in my running career. So scared that I started trying to come up with some catchy last words. I imagined them getting so famous among runners that they would get printed on running t-shirts and inspirational posters all around the world. Something like ”A little pneumonia won't kill you” or ”Not even death can stop me from completing my run”. I knew now that I had pushed my body too far before it was ready to take on the challenge, and right then it felt like I was going to have to pay for it dearly. Runners that had been behind me started running past me and I stepped into the meter-deep snow on the side to let them pass. Then I walked the rest of the trail up to where the others waited. Even that was hard work. I sank several centimetres in the snow with every step I took.

As we ran down the road and past the ski track parking lot, a part of me wished I would see J and get a lift home. He had gone skiing and I knew that he would be done around the same time as I was done with my run. Another, more stubborn part of me, the pig-headed part that is responsible for all the great running achievements of my life, thought the first part was a wimp and that I should suck it up and complete my run. After all, it was downhill all the way home. The second part was louder. It might have had to do with the fact that I could see neither J nor our car anywhere in the parking lot – it gave me no choice but to continue. The feeling of sickness gave way to normal tiredness as I left the others and made my way home. I took short steps, lowered my pace and took it easy, but there was still a battle of wills going on between my mind and my body.

Somehow I managed to get home without dying. This was without doubt the toughest, stupidest run I've ever done in my life, and I've run ultras. The only other time I remember feeling so weak and sick was about a year ago, when I and a friend from the Gothenburg running group ran the Sandsjöbacka trail. The circumstances were very similar: I had just recovered from an illness, I was running on tough terrain and my legs were non-responsive. I suppose I should be glad that I got off easy this time. Last time, I finished off my run by getting a runner's knee.

Friday, 22 February 2013

A step back

Some of you may have noticed it has been a few days since I last updated my blog. I have been preoccupied with a) trying to get out of the sofa after getting knocked out by fever and b) absorbing vast amounts of information at my new job. The combination of no training (= nothing to report) and mental exhaustion meant I haven't been in the mood for blogging, nor have I had time to do it.

I love writing. Whenever I sit down to write a post, I take my time, trying to put my thoughts into words and sentences in a way that is interesting and fun for you, the reader. For me it would be pointless to just dryly report on my runs. ”I did 5km in 27:43” - I know some people are interested in reading about numbers and statistics, but I'm not one of them and I write about the things I would find interesting myself. So I try to focus on what the run feels like. What I see. The experience of it and what goes through my head. The joy in my heart, the laboured breaths I take, the new places I discover. My goal is to communicate a feeling.

Whether or not I succeed is up to each and every one of you to decide. I have no way of knowing that, except through your comments. My love of writing means that, even if I never got a single comment, I would still make an effort to produce well-thought out posts because I need to write. But blogging is a wonderful thing: it allows for dialogue. And I draw great pleasure from reading your comments.

The process of creating a blog post takes time. It can take me an hour to write even a short one, and my posts are rarely short (as the ADHD-inclined ones among you surely must have noticed). Moreover, I always fix my bad mobile phone pictures in Photoshop the best I can, so that they don't inadvertently turn you blind – so you can imagine the amounts of time a single post can entail. I let it take the time it needs, because I want to be proud of the result. I don't want to do a half-arsed job just because I feel I have to update the blog and I only have two minutes to do it.

With that in mind, I realise that I need to take a step back. I can't keep turning out post after post every day, not if I want to keep writing the way I do. I just don't have the time for it now that I have a full time job. So, long story short (and the ADHD crowd would applaud at this point if I hadn't already lost them about four paragraphs earlier): I will keep updating this blog for those of you who might still be interested, but not as often as I have been doing. As it is now, the updates will mostly be about my long runs on Saturdays. I hope that you will enjoy reading these posts as much as I enjoy writing them.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Cannonball Read #5: Wizard and Glass by Stephen King

I kept eyeing the pile of books I had just received in the post lying on the living room table as I read the middle pages of Stephen King's ”Wizard and Glass”. Exciting books. Hand-picked by yours truly, all unique and whispering about amazing new worlds that would be revealed to me when I started turning their pages. I couldn't wait to read them. In fact, I was tempted to start reading one or two before I was even finished with King's book.

Yet they were all almost forgotten when I finally reached the last of the 700 pages of Stephen King's fourth part in the Dark Tower series. All I wanted now was to start on the fifth book. You can't come this far in a heptalogy and not have invested in the characters, not want to know what happens to them next, not worry about their fate. My eagerness to get started on the next part of the story was evidence of the kind of impact this book had made on me, and how well King succeeded in creating a page-turner.

Stephen King has this remarkable talent to throw ingredients into his big old cauldron that shouldn't work together (robots and cowboys? Classic movies and riddle-loving trains?) but somehow he keeps delivering, if not culinary wonders, then at least solid, tasteful dishes. For him you're willing to suspend the hell out of your disbelief. And the result is a western / science-fiction / fantasy amalgam that will reward you for your efforts.

The beginning of the story finds our heroes struggling to survive and to continue on the path of the Beam towards the Dark Tower. But Roland has a story about his past he needs to tell, and he proceeds to do so for the largest part of the book. It is a love story; it is a war story. And it is a story that we, as readers of this series, need to know about in order to understand his character and his motivations better.

”Wizard and Glass” is a suspenseful, well-written book that completely absorbed me. King continues to build rich, believable worlds in which he stages battles between good and evil, and in which tragic stories unfold. Tragic stories that pack a strong emotional punch. My only (and, truthfully, pretty minor) complaint was that I was sometimes drawn out of Roland's world by King's very distinctive tropes, like his portrayal of young characters as precocious. That one of them might think like an adult, I can buy. But that every single one of them should be like that? My suspension of disbelief isn't that great. Still, it was a thrill-ride of a book and my favourite one in the series so far.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Blessing in disguise?

Hello illness my old friend
I've come to work with you again
Because a fever softly creeping
climbed high while I was coughing
And the fever that was planted in my head
Still torments
A runner filled with dreams

So it's been a while since I posted here, and I bet you're all wondering where I've been. I started working last Tuesday on a part time basis, which I will continue with until the end of the month when I start working full time. I've been feeling tired since Monday morning, but I just put it down to, I don't know, normal tiredness? Monday was a very intense day. So Monday's intervals, Tuesday's easy jog with J and last night's run were performed as if in slow motion, but I never felt ill. Just tired – and cold.

But then this morning I woke up and my throat hurt. I had chills but the thermometer claimed I didn't have a fever, so I went to work. I spent the whole day trying to concentrate (lots of new information to take in, so running a fever is probably not the best state to be in when you need your brain to work) but I kept getting distracted by the ghastly chicken skin I kept getting by the intermittent bouts of shivering. Still, I think I managed to not drop the ball or unintentionally cause bodily harm to others too many times.

After work, the walk home was about all I could manage. The thermometer admitted its earlier mistake and that I did, in fact, have a fever. Thankfully (?) I have the day off tomorrow so I won't have to miss work (I wouldn't miss miss it, per se) but I will be missing a lot of training. A blessing in disguise might be that my plantar fasciitis-like symptoms will have a chance to sort themselves out in the meantime. Always positive, me. Always finding a silver lining. Now I think I'm going to collapse on the sofa and get some sleep.

Sunday, 10 February 2013


I've had cats in my life since I was a kid. Cats of wildly different personalities and temperaments, outdoor cats and indoor cats, short-haired and long-haired. They've all had one thing in common: no matter how different they might have been in other aspects, they were all archetypal cats. Independent, tough, manipulative and adorable all at the same time.

Until Sote entered my life. Never has a cat meant more work, demanded more attention or given more love. He's the master of contrasts, making me despair one moment only to come and purr in my ear and knead my thigh with his huge paws the next. 

The instances when he drives me crazy usually have to do with his toilet habits (I will spare you the unsavoury details) or his clumsiness (I guess the toilet habits issue is partly due to his clumsiness). Last night neither J or I got much sleep, partly because our upstairs neighbours had a shouting match at 3 in the morning and partly because Sote discovered a new toy: a cardboard box with a bit of tape still stuck on it. You can probably imagine the kind of noise he makes when he drags his claws on the cardboard box at 4am.

If you think that cats are innocent little creatures without the ability to forge evil plans to drive their human slaves completely insane, think again. I am usually the first one to wake up in the morning, and, when I get up, I throw the cats out of the bedroom and close the door behind me so I won't wake J up while I'm making coffee. Somehow, Sote can sense that I am awake before I know it (the sound my eyelids make when they open? A subtle change in my breathing pattern?) and before I have even decided if I'm going to get up or go back to sleep, he runs and crawls under the bed, where he knows I can't reach him. He knows that I can't throw him out of the bedroom then.

Once he's fed up with hiding under the bed, he comes forward and I close the door. Now the next part of our weekend morning ritual is that I'll make some breakfast and try to eat it while Sote holds a vigil outside the bedroom door and whines. NON STOP. This morning, he whined for an hour despite my efforts to keep him quiet, until J finally woke up. My theory is that he thinks we are sheep, and that he is a dog. He needs to keep an eye on both of us at all times. This personality disorder becomes apparent when we make a ball out of a piece of paper and throw it. He runs, picks up the paper ball and brings it to us. People, he fetches.

Luckily for him, and his continued well-being, our exasperation rarely lasts more than a few minutes. Sure, sometimes I fantasize about getting J and myself a hotel room just so that we can get some sleep without worrying about him hogging the bed or pooping on the bathroom floor. Sure, I may have tried to bribe people to ”borrow” our cats for the weekend. And yeah, smoke might have been coming out of my ears when he peed on our sofa for the umpteenth time. But he is the world's cuddliest cat and his purr is so loud it would cause avalanches if we were living anywhere near a mountain. I try to remember those things when I'm feeling felinicidal.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Long, cold run

I mentioned in an earlier post how I've been feeling sluggish this week. The last couple of days were no exception. I tried to watch some TV last night around 7. I wouldn't be able to tell you what happened in the series I watched if my life depended on it. I ended up giving in to Sandman around half past eight and woke up nice and rested at the ungodly hour of half past five this morning. At least I got my eight hours of sleep, eh?

I headed out to the hockey arena a little earlier to get 5km in before meeting up with the others. Small snowflakes tickled my nose and it seemed like it was going to be a very nice day. Yesterday's weather forecast for today had threatened with -20 that would make my eyes freeze shut, but the thermometer only showed -11 this morning. As a result, I didn't take any particular precautions against the cold, no more than I usually do, and it worked fine. At least at first.

We hit the snowmobile tracks and must have run into some sort of wonderland. Some trees were so heavy with snow that their branches formed long tunnels under which we ran, bending our backs in order to get under them. Then we were out on a forest road by a clearing and the sunshine that was hidden behind the trees finally found us. We basked in its glory, soaking in its rays, enjoying its warmth. 

Running on snowmobile tracks is not unlike running on trails. They are so uneven and often slippery that they do wonders for foot strength. Not to mention that you get to run in the forest. Unfortunately, I suspect that it puts a lot of pressure on my calf and foot tendon, and that it's not very good for me while my foot is sending me plantar fasciitis warnings. 

The rest of the run was done on tarmac, on roads that split fields in two, fields that were oceans of sparkling snow tempting me to jump in and swim. When we got back, we went into the club's offices quickly to look at some clothes. We can't have stayed there more than 10 minutes, but when I went back outside to run home, my fingers immediately turned into icicles. Fragile icicles that could easily snap in two. I tried breathing warm air into my gloves, tried curling my hand into a fist inside the glove, but nothing seemed to make any difference. How was it possible that -11 felt this cold? The answer was made obvious as soon as I got down to the river. The wind had picked up so the chill factor was closer to -18.

It took me almost an hour, a hot shower and a warm cup of tea to turn my lips from purple back to a healthier pink. In a couple of weeks I'll have to be out for three hours on my long run. I hope it's warmer then.

Friday, 8 February 2013


I survived yet another arse sighting at the gym today, mainly because said arse was better covered than the one last time. So, despite everything, I was feeling pretty good when I went to the free weights room, an area maybe 2 by 5 meters wide, to do my barbell squats and lunges. The room was empty but I still kept to the side while preparing the weights. From there I could watch myself in the mirror and make sure that my technique was good so that I didn't get injured. 

So imagine my surprise when, before I even had a chance to get started, this young woman walks into the EMPTY APART FROM ME room, drags a weight-lifting bench almost right in front of me, partially blocking my view, sits there and starts doing bicep curls. Now, I'm not a violent or even confrontational person, at least when it comes to total strangers, so I kept my mouth shut. But I wondered if maybe I  was invisible. 

Just think about all the cool stuff I could be doing right now. Sneaking into concerts. Bumping into random people in the street. Haunting houses. That kind of thing.

My suspicion that I had, in fact, turned invisible was confirmed later on, during my run home. I was pounding the pavement, keeping the road to my right, when out of a parking lot to my left I see a couple with a pram coming. They look in my direction. Continue to push the pram. I'm thinking that they must have seen me and they'll stop pushing that pram any second now. But no. The woman looks at me with a far away look in her eyes and pushes the pram until it comes to a stop where it completely blocks the whole pavement and I have to jump into the street to avoid colliding with it. That's it. I'm see-through.

What was it that made me this way? Was it my 100-day no-sugar challenge? Are thousands of scientists wrong about sugar being completely unnecessary in our diets? Is sugar really the stuff DNA is built on? The stuff that makes us visible? Scale says it can't be because I'm losing any weight and withering away into nothing anyway, that's for sure.

That's what was going through my mind when my new boss called me to finalise the final details about the job. I'm starting on Tuesday on a part-time basis, going into full-time at the end of the month. I hope I've turned back to normal before then. It might be hard to do my job if no one can see me.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Recover-- *yawn* RECOVERY week

Have I mentioned that this is a recovery week for me? Turns out the lower mileage has made me apathetic and sluggish. So apathetic and sluggish that I have to remind myself to breathe once in a while in order not to pass out or suffer brain damage from oxygen deprivation. This apathy is rubbing off on my blog writing as well, where it manifests itself as an enormous lack of inspiration. 

Fed up of all the winter photos? Here's a summer one *drool*

Not that life has been patiently waiting for this recovery malarkey to be over and done with so that it can go on about its business. No; it has been going on about its business in the usual fashion. So there are things I could be writing about: dishes to do, cat poop to clean off the floor and – a job to interview for. Said interview went pretty well, judging from the fact that I got the job, and if my prospective boss and I agree on some details of...shall we say...monetary nature, I start at the end of the month. See? On a recovery week, I can't even muster up the enthusiasm to be happy about that. But you don't want to read about that! It's a training blog, right? (Never mind my Cannonball read posts. Some of the books I review are about running)

The recovery part of this recovery week is thankfully over. My shorter runs are behind me. A Friday 8 km run followed by a long run on Saturday has come to feel like the normal state of things, and anything less than that leaves me feeling drained of energy, and incomplete like a jigsaw puzzle that's missing a piece - or a joke without a punchline.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Cannonball Read #04: Let the right one in by John Ajvide Lindqvist

I was first introduced to John Ajvide Lindqvist many years ago, when I read his book ”Handling the undead”. It was an unnerving, unusual book that made a deep impression on me. However, it was going to be a while before I picked up one of his books again.

I saw the film ”Let the right one in” in its original, Swedish version not long after I'd read ”Handling the undead”, and I remember making the connection that it was, in fact, the same author that had written the book the film was based on. The film left me feeling uneasy and wanting to read the book. Again, though, I waited.

Until now. I found the book in a second-hand store and didn't hesitate to buy it. From the first page, I was sucked into the dark, miserable, horrifying world Lindqvist describes. Once again, the now-familiar feeling that something terrible was always about to happen crept into my heart and made me clench my jaw. 

Oscar is a 12-year old boy living his life in fear and mistrust. Growing up in a bleak, almost ghetto-like Swedish suburb without friends or adults he can depend on, he has to try and avoid getting beaten up and humiliated by his bullies every single day. Usually, he fails. One day, Eli moves into the building next door and the two form an unlikely friendship. Finally, some light enters his life and gives him hope that it might all be ok in the end. But Eli is harbouring a secret and horrible things start happening in the neighbourhood.

”Let the right one in” might seem like your average vampire story from reading the blurb on the back cover. And it is, indeed, a gory horror story at its core. But it is so much more than that. The book has to do with hatred and revenge. Social injustices. Exclusion and isolation. Perversity and the stark contrast to the children's innocence. Adults failing children over and over again, and children having to survive in -and adapt to- a world that is cruel to its weakest members. It is easy to despair reading this book. There is a fearful monster at its centre, but strangely enough, this monster has more humanity and compassion in it than the real monsters, who are hiding behind closed doors, behind a façade of normality and - in some cases – authority. But there is love, too. Pure, unadulterated love that knows no socially constructed bounds, a love that grows out of despair and hunger like a flower in a rubbish heap.

When I finished the book, I couldn't get it out of my head. It touched me in a profound way, almost moved me to tears. Even if you ignored the social issues it tackles and take it at face value, it is a book that is suspenseful, near impossible to put down.Well-written, it never sags but is a roller-coaster of emotions, including that sinking feeling in your stomach when things are about to turn ugly. And they turn ugly all the time. Don't miss this one.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Back to the VFFuture

I've been missing in action the last couple of days and millions of imaginary readers have been sending millions of imaginary worried messages to me wondering where I've been. I've been here, but it's been pretty quiet on the training front so there was little to write about.

The aftermath I feared would come upon me and smite me like a mosquito after my 26 km last Saturday never came. My foot felt fine after the run, at least until we went for a walk Sunday morning. The shoes I use for walking are not very good. Well, that's not fair: they're very good at keeping my feet warm, but they've been making my feet ache for ages, and last Sunday was no exception. I've been massaging and icing and stretching and it feels like the situation is under control (= my foot doesn't hurt, it's just tense) but I sure wish I wouldn't have to keep thinking about it.

Last night it was time for interval training with the club, and can I just say: our coach is amazing. He has so much knowledge which he gladly shares with us, and he knows when to joke about things and when to be serious. Plus he keeps an eye on each and every one of us (and there are lots of us to keep an eye on) and I suspect that he even takes our aches and pains into consideration when planning our training sessions. Not an easy task but somehow he manages. And he does this for free.

There wasn't so much running yesterday but we did focus a lot on muscle elasticity and strength drills, followed by some technique training and calf stretching. Just what I need, in other words. Doing burpees in the snow made me wish I'd taken my warmer gloves with me, but somehow that wish was quickly forgotten when the lactic acid that had accumulated in my legs after several hill repeats made me wish I could roll around in the snow some more and extinguish the fire in my thigh muscles.

This week is a recovery week according to my schedule, which means shorter runs. I took this opportunity to re-introduce my legs to minimalistic running. I'd bought some merino wool socks in town which I was dying to try out, and, after a great session at the gym (yep, I challenged myself with the weights again) I ran home in my VFF, taking a detour to make it 5 km. Those of you who have tried running in VFF know how great they feel on your feet. Those of you that haven't, what are you waiting for? Imagine running on cotton, because that's what it feels like to run on soft snow.

And the verdict? Merino wool socks rock. The temperature wasn't that low (-1), so I don't know how they'd work in lower temperatures, but this morning they kept my toes warm enough. My feet never got hot but they didn't feel cold either. I wish I'd bought these socks sooner so that I could have kept on running in my VFF during the winter.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Do it anyway

I was in a bit of a bad mood and very nervous this morning before my run. The possibility of heading out for my scheduled 25 km only to have to stop half way because of an injury made me want to hide under the covers instead. Better not to know, better not to risk it, better to pretend I'm not a runner today. Better not to try at all than to try and fail. Because imagine my disappointment if I failed, imagine what it would mean for my goals. But then I bit the bullet and did it anyway.

Unsurprisingly it was a less-than-stellar long run, as I had to keep checking for signals my foot might be sending instead of losing myself in fun conversations and beautiful surroundings like I usually do. I took a detour on my way up to the hockey arena and thought that the foot felt ok. A bit stiff maybe, but it definitely didn't hurt. Once I got there, 7 km later, I stretched it. I had taken my orthopaedic insoles with me in case I needed them, but I decided to wait with that and see what happened. One theory going round in my head was that I was imagining the whole thing, and that running with the club and talking to the others might distract me enough to filter out the paranoid little voices in my head.

Sure enough, as long as I kept talking to people and didn't think about my foot, it didn't complain. After 10 km it stopped complaining altogether. But the worry in my mind didn't let off as easily. What if it started hurting afterwards? I talked to our coach about it and he gave me hope that, even if it is plantar fasciitis, I don't have to stop running, as long as I take care of it right away: icing, diclofenac, stretching, the works. Good. So far I'm already doing everything right. Another thing that I'm going to do to take care of it is to treat myself to a proper sports massage. The foot is a symptom of something else and my hips are notorious for their lack of proper mobility. It's time to get rid of the stiffness in my body before it turns ugly. The stiffness, not my body (opinions vary as to whether that particular ship sailed a long time ago).

On my way home I stopped by some shops in town to pick up some crucial household items we had run out of (wine). When it was time to start running again, this time with a loaded backpack, my legs politely informed me that they were suddenly feeling very tired indeed. I took it as a good sign that they waited for almost 25 km to tell me that and jogged home. I shall be bracing myself for the aftermath that is likely to follow.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Cannonball read #03: Protector by Larry Niven

Larry Niven's Protector is a book about an ancient race of aliens, the Pak. The eldest of these aliens become protectors. A protector's only purpose in life is to take care of the offspring of the race. With no offspring left on the home planet after centuries of war, this particular protector (called Phssthpok) has to take off and space travel in search of some offspring that left millions of years before, or stay behind and die. What he finds is Earth and its colonies.

The idea behind the plot is fascinating. Humans have colonised other planets? The ones left on Earth live peacefully, unknowing that there is a warmongering alien flying towards them? Tell me more about it! Unfortunately it feels like the story plays second fiddle to the space travel physics. It was more science than fiction (and I can't vouch for the accuracy of the science, either). This becomes evident in the frequent time jumps in the story. We often flash-forward days, years, centuries, and the characters that we knew are suddenly replaced by new ones.

This book had its moments. Among the descriptions of space battles and confusing explanations of how ramrobots work, there were little pearls of plot or glimpses of a character's back story or personality. Those were too few and far between, though, and most of the time I hadn't gotten to know a character enough to care about what happened to them. I couldn't understand what motivated them to make their decisions, some of which seemed outright illogical. Because of that, the book felt dry and I never got emotionally involved.

It was a quick read despite everything. What might have elevated it from ”meh” to ”good” for me would have been a stronger, more detailed plot and better developed characters.

Your typical Friday paranoia

I made it! I dragged myself out of bed and down to the gym. And I did not just make it there. Oh no. I even exercised. SOMEONE GIVE THIS WOMAN A MEDAL. To my relief, everyone had their arses safely tucked inside their pants this morning, and my training there was as vanilla as it usually is. I'll take vanilla over half-naked arses any time.

Recycled photo, because why not.

Then I ran home, taking a detour so that I'd run the 8km my training schedule dictated. Although I could see the sun coming up on the horizon, in the part of the sky directly over my head floated snow clouds that dumped tiny little delicate white flakes on my head and in my nostrils. I listened to music but I also listened to my body. How was my foot doing? Was it tense or was I imagining things? I spent half the day yesterday massaging it frantically and I wondered if that actually made it worse. Can a tendon be too supple? I obsessed. If I got distracted for a second, like if a great song came on, the foot went quiet. But if I paid it any attention, I got paranoid. Is my foot an attention whore? Is this a cry for help?

Well, as long as it doesn't hurt, eh?