Saturday, 8 May 2010


Time to turn day back into day. We made a "blackout" out of a thin red quilt we got at Ikea staple-gunned to the window surround. A hasty solution but an effective one. I've been waking up in a dark reddish room and sleeping better during the day than I ever have while on night shift. Still I am way down on my normal hours sleep after being up all night for 3 nights. The first night was the worst. My body kept telling me I shouldn't be there - and I didn't need told. There was a fair bit of disturbance on the ward - angry spats and shouting and irritability. It took much patience but settled down eventually. The 2nd night things were at a lower intensity. By last night everyone had tired themselves out and were sleeping. After 2 nights of being unable to concentrate, last night I found I could read and retain what I was reading.

I was reading a couple of chapters of a Jungian author, about how we ignore unconscious processes at our cost. If we make (this is what I made of it) our everyday lives too rational and reasonable then the irrational and unreasonable facets of ourselves will eventually burst forth out of control. The author was suggesting that war was an example of this. There's something in war that despite its awfulness also appeals to the human spirit. Its an opportunity to live more intensely - but at too high a cost. So we need to make room for a bit of irrational glory in our lives. This chimed with my experience of running. Difficult to explain why you would seek out the suffering and hard work associated with running, to the uninitiated.... So I was having one of those luminous moments that only happen in the middle of the night where you feel like you're understanding something.

Not so this afternoon at 1.30pm when I once more awoke blinking in the reddened gloom of my room. My brain was still suffused with dark chemicals and it was hard to find any motivation for anything.
I wandered blinking through to the kitchen and found Peter doing some dishes. "I've got your cold" he announced cheerily.
We settled on a modest plan for making the best of a short day. We cycled down to Cramond - there to test my pesky leg - if it was at all functional, we'd run along the riverbank etc. round the airport loop and back and then cycle home. (Taking in a cafe maybe, I thought to myself, storing a tenner in my shorts.)

There was a bitch of a cold North-Easterly blowing and we were both pretty cold, but the running worked out really very well. After a very cautious initial mile, nothing was majorly going wrong so we set off up-stream. Never pushed it, took it easy. Plenty of entertainment up the river, the ducks and heron on the water, the smell of the wild garlic. Most of my attention was kept focused on my sore leg though - watching out for anything that would tell me I needed to stop. Its still sore - but not very. I didn't push my luck or the pace. We ran 8 miles and then I put in a bid to try out the cafe along the river there. It was nicely sheltered from the cold wind and I had a small moment of perfect happiness with a coffee and a piece of chocolate cake while Peter, who was feeling stingy, opted for being hungry and photographing some shrub in bloom.
And so home again now and we've been tucking into a bottle of wine and I'm fighting sleep just now in the hope that maybe I won't ping awake in the middle of the night. Tomorrow may well be a cycling adventure with Amanda while Scott and Peter do some long training because Scott's thinking about doing Strathaven 50 miler sometime in the Autumn.

Stornoway half is now looking like a real possibility again though the "speed sharpening" I thought I might do in the run up to it won't be happening - or not much. I'll be running off endurance only. Any running is much better than no running at all...

1 comment:

Climbingmandy said...

Go Mary! Sounds like a good wee adventure. Peter should have had cake.