Oh (rapid breath) my (rapid breath) uhhhh (rapid breath) aaaayyyyeee…


Two sets done out of three and I’m hunched over, moaning like Meg Ryan in “When Harry Met Sally.”  Good thing there are only other professionals on the track; civilians assume I’m being tortured by my coach and start nervously pulling out their cellphones when I’m like this.

I’ve got four minutes to recover until my final set starts, and my mind dances between various ways to weasel out of it, “Hey, coach, wow…that was great.  Really got the stimulus we were looking for there.  I think we got it covered in two sets…no need to do the third really.  Still getting huge benefits here.  Thanks for that, yeah it was brilliant.  Well done me, considering the late start I got this season and all.”

But before I can get a word out to Mark between hyper-ventilations, he says six words that put my head right back in the game, and make me totally start laughing (inside of course, there is not enough air for me to laugh externally):

“Welcome to the F___ing 5k, Love.”

The man is a genius. I’m going to write that on my forehead, I love it so much.

cartoon about memory lossDid I try to get out of anything after that?  Hell no.  His words triggered a vivid memory…something very very valuable from previous times when I was in peak form:  I remembered the value of short term memory loss in training.

It was like a light bulb went off!  I did a brain swipe, forgetting the way the 2nd set felt entirely; then I got myself back to the start line and started running with a clean slate.  I managed somehow to hit all my times.  It was tough tough tough, but as it turns out, so is the 5k.

Thank you, Mark Rowland, for reminding me about forgetting.  Or forgetting about remembering.  Ah, sod it.  You get the bloody picture.


Interesting fact #1:  Mark’s famous quote from his track-side, post race interview after winning the Olympic Bronze Medal is this:

“I just kept telling myself to dig, dig, dig—and I did it! I’ve got a bloody medal!”

Interesting fact #2:  Mark hates talking about it, so he will probably kill me for writing this on my blog.  Its been nice knowing you all.