The Flying Beetroot: Running Too Far

I’ve tried several times in the past week or so to write a post that wasn’t about housework battles or running vegetables but every time I tried to find a window of opportunity it was like trying to fit through a porthole on the Titanic. An impossible task with an increasing sense of desperation.

So it’s a running update again, I’m afraid.

The title of this post is apt in both a literal and figurative sense.

Not being in possession of one of those fancy-schmancy GPS watch thingies, I must measure my runs via a free app on my phone. It’s possible it’s not the most accurate scientific instrument available. So, to ensure I know I have run at least the distance I am required to run, I tend to add an extra kilometre or so.

The figurative sense of taking things too far became apparent about a week ago.

Motivation is a wonderful thing. There is a reason people have mentors, supporters or trainers when they are trying to achieve something. Whether it’s giving up cigarettes, losing weight or improving your fitness, having someone (or several someones or, in my case, a blogosphere of someones) monitoring your progress helps enormously to keep you on track. Making yourself accountable to another can give you the impetus to keep going when you really don’t feel like it.

I think I may have overdrawn on the account.

I love a spreadsheet and I know I am not the only one. It’s very motivating and ticking off or filling in the boxes is highly satisfying. However, recently I have come to think that maybe a spreadsheet should not be given to someone with an obsessive personality.

Where is all this going? Here’s the point:

On a recent Sunday, my spreadsheet required me to undertake a 10 kilometre run. The previous day had been our state election where I had worked all day as an election official. On the Sunday, various commitments meant that I had to be out of the house by 8.30am and I would not be returning until after 7pm. Where to fit in a 10 kilometre run? Very early, obviously. The alarm was set for 5.50am. I didn’t need it as I awoke at 5.30am with a sickening headache (this being the most apt adjective as I truly felt like I was going to be sick). But the run? What about the run?

All you sensible types are saying “Just don’t do it, then. It won’t matter if you miss one.”


Only, I’m not really all that sensible (this should already be obvious). And I am a Spreadsheet Slave. I could not – could not – imagine writing my next running post and including a spreadsheet with a red box in it. It must be ALL green.

So I ran. The whole 10 kilometres. With my pounding feet matching the pounding in my head.

The Flying Beetroot Running Too Far

I may just be nuts.

When word got out, I was admonished by more than one friend. “You don’t have to do it,” one said. I nodded. Uh huh.

Another friend presented me with the Running Golden Tickets. I’d never heard of them but I was assured that they are a compulsory part of training for any event:

Remember that whenever you commit to such an undertaking it is essential you incorporate three factors into your plan:

1. High Road/Low Road days.
Each day you need to decide whether it is a ‘high road’ or ‘low road’ day. On high road days you push. On low road days you are allowed to slow off, stop for a drink or cut short. It is essential that you balance these days 50-50. Net result is even.

2. 3 Golden Tickets
You have the power to entrust a pretty bespectacled friend with 3 golden tickets. Golden tickets are leave passes. You simply text/Facebook “GT request” and she will write back ‘confirmed.’ You are exempt from the run that day. All 3 tickets must be used.

3. 3 HOLY tickets
You have the power to entrust yourself with 3 holy tickets. These are also leave passes. They allow you to complete the scheduled run in an alternative realm. You will do so while you sleep and you still get to mark the spreadsheet in green (but a slightly altered shade). All three must be used.

So, yesterday, when I had another full day ahead, the spreadsheet said “12km” and I awoke early to pouring rain?

I ran. In the rain.

Go ahead. Tell me you’re surprised.

Training runs 4



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47 thoughts on “The Flying Beetroot: Running Too Far

  1. They’re right, and you know it. But I also know that their being right won’t in the end mean a bloody thing.
    For a reason/reasons that are unknown (?), commitment is the all-in-all to you, and you CANNOT allow it to be damaged, let alone broken. Who would siffer if it were ? – doesn’t matter. It’s been made.
    Sighh …

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m totally out of my running zone at the moment. I got out of the habit and now it’ll be hard to go again… And it’s too hot. And But I know that when I’ve made a schedule, especially with an event in mind, I kind of feel I have to stick to it. Mostly out of terror about FAILING to complete said event. Hadn’t heard of golden tickets before – love the idea 🙂 Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, Fi, thank you!! I was struggling with how to respond to the “ditch the spreadsheet” votes because I couldn’t quite explain why it’s so important. But you have expressed exactly what I am feeling. I have committed to running a half-marathon for the first time. Training advice is crucial. I have that (and from a multi-marathon runner) and so not to follow it – in my mind at least – is to risk not succeeding.

      The golden tickets are great but, knowing me, I’m likely to save them up to the last minute “just in case”. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Like you, I’m compulsive about my training. It’s a fear thing. I don’t want to be at the starting line feeling unprepared.

    What I learned however if that the spreadsheet does not have to be a cruel master … life does – and will – get in the way. It’s knowing how, and when, to rearrange the running schedule to accommodate life.

    If I knew Sunday was going to be a bad day for whatever reason, the long run got moved to the next logical day … in my case it was Monday. Periodically it was the preceding Friday. Or maybe a shorter run can switch plans with a longer run on days when life is intruding. A run that’s been moved to another day is still a run completed.

    Give each of your weekly runs a ranking in priority. For me it was my long run and speed/hill run. They were non-negotiables and other runs were sacrificed if required to accommodate them. A training program is not derailed because a short easy run was sacrificed for a long run that needed to be moved.

    There will be days you won’t feel good. The general rule of thumb I was taught is that if you feel sick below the neck, DON”T run. I’ve had many headaches go away BECAUSE I went for a run and I’ve never had one get worse because I did. However, If you have a cough or a sick stomach … it’s not a good plan to run. It will be wasted effort and in all probability you will feel worse afterwards.

    Recognize that running through pain is not good. All your training will not help you if you get to race day with an injury that prevents you from running … says the woman who missed the Disney Marathon because of a stress fracture. It was years ago and I’m still bitter.

    …. and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with running in the rain 🙂 … unless of course it’s a freezing rain in which case I recommend rescheduling!

    Sorry for the very loooong comment. That’s my 2 cents worth.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Apparently. 😀 Actually, I’m not a runner by natural inclination. If I need a boost, I’m more likely to pick up a ukulele or a pencil. I’m not sure I even enjoy the process of running, but I like the fitness it gives me and that it lets me eat more chocolate. Not having a running partner, the only person who can get me out the door and down to the track is ME. It’s too easy to make excuses. Committing to the spreadsheet prevents me from doing that – it gets me out the door when I don’t feel like it.
      But I accept that I may have taken it a bit far. I’ll work on it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I get the spreadsheet, I do. There’s order, there’s goals, there’s the sense of achievement. But…

    That’s why I clicked “like” on the ditch the spreadsheet comments. And by that, I mean ditch the need to have the spreadsheet all green. I like the idea of built in passes. Go ahead, give yourself permission.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I searched high and low for M-R’s comment? But I can probably guess at it. 🙂
    There’s compulsive and compulsive but I would be thanking my lucky stars for the ‘teacher’s notes’. (and when the hell do you find time to read my blog? But thank you very much 🙂 )

    Liked by 1 person

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