The long one

The long one
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


Make or break day, I figured. After missing a couple of long runs, and with the scheduled 20milers becoming a 15 and an 18 out here, I really needed to get to 20 today. Mentally, if possibly not physically. I think overall I’m busking the marathon slightly, relying on having enough miles in my legs from the last year or so such that a slight gap in my long run is covered. But I had to get to 20.

I got to bed early last night, and set the alarm on the phone for 3.30-this being the phone that’s on British time still. Oddly, despite it being 7.30 on the phone (10.30 here) it said the alarm was set for 7 hours from now, not 8. I put it down to general confusion over time zones and went to sleep. At 6.30 it was still dark so I decided stuff it, I’ll go a bit later. Setting the alarm again I woke up at 7.30, checking the time by my watch and set off 15 minutes later. There was a group of chunky locals in the gym, but the breakfast room wasn’t open, and it is supposed to start at 7. Luckily they let me in so I could pick up a second bottle of water to leave by the fence while running.

I made it to satellite field, which was full of locals playing football, blues v reds (Liverpool and Chelsea kits, possibly not the latest), greens v yellows and so on. Two miles there, four 3+ mile loops, two miles back and though I’d slowed, I made it to camp with more than 18 miles down, allowing me to plod slowly round the 1k trail twice to finish off. Job done, I limped over for breakfast, hoping that they’d still serve at 10.55, with no one else in sight.

Breakfast, no problem, and as it arrived the Danes were setting off for their long run. A bit late, I thought, though it wasn’t as hot as the day before.

I finished up quickly and went back to the room. Only while browsing the web on the iPad did I spot it wasn’t yet 11. I think with my watch being on Moscow time, it had switched to their summer time, and lost an hour. So I’d actually achieved my original plan, to go out around 7, and be back before breakfast ended at 10 (though they serve till later).

Twit. I’ve gone for Eastern European time now, which should do for the rest of the trip. Rest of the day passed with food, lounging and more food, then topped off with some Wii sports with the Danes. An easy day tomorrow, one more big week and I’m done.

Summary: 3:02:52, 32.23k. Biggest week status; uncertain, but 66.36 miles is up there. Book, Double Comfort Safari Club, McCall-Smith.

 

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