Last night was meant to be the big one, my big run before really launching into two weeks of serious tapering. It had been my plan all day, the entire time from getting up had been built around a 20 mile run around the all so exciting compound. I really wanted to do it, as much as anything to prove to myself that two weeks on Sunday is going to be OK.
The problem is that the temperature is rising here and the sun is burning down – I really do not enjoy running in that and so I was going to head out after dark when the temperature had dropped.
Yeap, the day had been about last night’s run. Lounging by the pool in the morning, pottering around in the afternoon, a late afternoon snooze and eating the right foods – even more than usual!
Darkness came, the temperature dropped, the Gruesome Twosome and himself went to bed and at 10pm I pulled on my running kit, filled a water bottle and strategically placed it along with a pot of homemade GF flapjack on the doorstep and off I went.
All started well. As expected there was nobody really around apart from the hardcore dog walkers who soon disappeared. I did almost bump into, (literally), the legend that is Mr Tommo as I ran along the dimly lit edge of the sports field by the sewage works – not sure who got the bigger shock, me or him! Just me and my music. The first few miles went by reasonably well with a nice pace and a few short walks – not that I really needed them but as I was planning 20 miles I thought I was justified, especially as my marathon plan involves a mainly running but also some walking strategy.
All was well.
After about 6.5 miles one of the street lights went out. Grumbling to myself I bemoaned our usually highly efficient maintenance guys and ran on.
As I continued another one went out and then another. Slightly puzzled by this my mind wandered to the wiring system for the street lights on the perimeter of the compound and what configuration would result in that pattern of lights going out.
It continued and it got darker and darker.
I then noticed that there seemed to be a pattern for what lights were on and what had gone off.
Slowly I had a lightbulb moment, (well few minutes actually), and I realised that our usually highly efficient maintenance guys had in fact been highly efficient and the lights were going out on purpose.
At that time of night there is nobody, (except one odd ball out training for The London Marathon), around the perimeter of the compound and so common sense dictates save energy, reduce light pollution and, most likely in this case, save money.
I have no problem with this, no problem at all – except when I am marathon training.
So, the lights were going out around me. To be honest it was a bit spooky as they seemed to be going out as I ran past each one – a bit like a domino effect. I did actually think that some compassionate person in the CCTV office was feeding my location to the person on the street light on/off switch so as to not leave me completely in the dark. But extreme but believe me when you are running round and round the compound all sorts of weird, wonderful and bizarre things go through your mind……
The thing about Saudi Arabia is that most areas are never dark, the Saudis are not shy about switching lights on – usually. However, our compound is relatively remote and so when the perimeter lights go out it is dark, very dark. Even the lights on the building site next door were off.
So, darkness had fallen and I have to admit it was a bit spooky. I don’t usually bother about these things, but I have to admit to being a tad uneasy.
A much bigger worry however was that I could not see a thing in front of my feet – unless I was in the radius of one of the lights still on that is. The roads and pavements around the compound tend to have a few booby traps, caused mainly by subsidence and I have nearly come a cropper a few times when I can see my feet.
It was about 30 seconds after this that a cat shot across me and gave me the fright of my life – after that I sprinted home with extra speed stripes.
So, last night’s run was just short of 8 miles – not what I had in mind and I am more than a little put out about this. My mood today is not great – if you see me I would suggest keeping a reasonable distance…..
To add insult to injury I sprinted to the front door at around 11.45pm, cooled down and came in. It was then, as I glanced out of the window that I saw how dark it really was outside. However, the problem was that going to bed was not an option, I had been running and the endorphins were flowing – I was buzzing.
It is amazing how much you can get done when the crew are in bed. Washing, tidying, dishwasher………..
Eventually I did go to bed and yes I did fall asleep – albeit grumbling under my breath.
So, how do I feel this morning? Physically fine – lets face it if I am not OK after 8 miles then all hell will break loose on the 24th. Mentally – extremely brassed off!
Anyway, off to the pool in a few minutes – the Strawberry Blond Hand Grenade is going to teach me how to do tumble turns…….memories of years ago and that slightly odd and creepy character on CBeebies are springing to mind…..
I’ll be back……..
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