The pursuit of rest and by default success and happiness.

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My last post dwelled on the intricacies of ass-clenching, shaving, strapping and looking like Tutankhamen’s bondage partner or doppelganger. The past two weeks have dealt me many highs and lows from a personal, professional and a running perspective.

If this is a blog about running the Comrades, why are there references to my professional and personal life? Because, Comrades is personal and it craves sacrifice and obedience and let’s face it, it is your daddy. Comrades is 90 kilometers of Darth Vader whispering in your ear ,“Luke, I am your father and who’s your daddy, I am’. At the end of Comrades, I think like in the movie we are supposed to hug and make up but I’ll wait till I get there.

Comrade’s wants your body, mind, soul, wallet and personal life. When triumph or tragedy strikes in your life, you either eat miles of tarmac or eat the tub of ice cream instead. Everyone is different, sometimes a run makes me feel better if it’s a work problem, or if it’s an injury I might go for the ice cream and beer and maybe even a smoke.

I entered my last Marathon with a great sense of trepidation. I was dealing with the rehab of an injury and had been clenching my bum for all its worth. The clenching seemed to work, as I set a new personal best on an admittedly fast course. Unfortunately, my quads felt like a few wise guys had taken a set of baseball bats to them in the days following the race.

Either way, I ran a personal best marathon, my Mom came on holiday unexpectedly, I finally have a website, and on the negative, work could be better, and I ‘ve had some weird injuries since my marathon.  As far as March goes, it’s been average interspersed with chocolates from Paris.

Fear and achievement are our prime motivators as Comrades runners. Fear is what kicks you out of bed after not enough sleep to wrack up your weekly mileage quotas but fear as the green hobbit Yoda says ‘fear to the dark side leads’.

I ran on the dark side as we all do, I ran when I should not have been pounding the tarmac, when an extra day off would make all the difference. Or when you miss your alarm clock and you do a long run on your own and 12 kilometer’s out your knee stops like a hamster wheel when the hamster falls off… There you are again, that lost-looking poodle, or looking like a hairy-legged sweaty prostitute who has a predilection for neon shorts, socks and fluorescent takkies, stranded on some nameless piece of tarmac.

The pursuit of happiness is a fundamental tenet enshrined in the US constitution. We as Comrades aspirants and all athletes, but especially we the after-hours athletes can adopt it. We all started to run for competing reasons: freedom, time, health, wellness, stress relief and weight-loss.  My primary motivator was initially weight-loss, and if I am honest it is still a primary motivator and Comrades just allows me to run further every day.

Our pursuit of happiness is having days when you run when nothing hurts, when you are faster than falling rain and the road just simply wants you to run faster, longer, stronger, like an insatiable lover, I would imagine? These are beautiful days that we cherish as runners: unfortunately, I have had too few of these days lately. Maybe it’s because we are addicts and our primary drug is endorphins.

Coming back from injury is a slow process, as I have come to learn it requires hard work, weird manoeuvres, looking odd, having people touch you and manipulate you and yes, I have had a man prod my ass and stomach muscles lately.  My injury was caused by overdoing it and I have exacerbated it lately because of fear and endorphins that allow you to run further and longer than you should.


My pursuit of happiness is bonded with running and the goals I have set for this year. In order to achieve these goals the pursuit of rest is what I need most.

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4 Responses to The pursuit of rest and by default success and happiness.

  1. Charlotte March 30, 2011 at 9:38 am #

    Always a good read moj – keep these up :)

  2. murray March 30, 2011 at 9:58 am #

    Shot charlie, I write it to make sense of why i am doing this.

  3. Gavin March 30, 2011 at 8:55 pm #

    Hey Murray. Great writing. And sounds like the running is on the comeback too. Hope April goes well. Thought I might see you at Long Tom this last weekend, but I guess you are saner than I had given you credit for? Gavin

  4. murray April 7, 2011 at 9:51 am #

    Hi Gavin,

    I thought about Long Tom, i don’t think i had the legs for that after a crappy march.
    I am running this weekend at waterval boven and loskop .
    I ll see if i am still standing after that.

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