Monday, 22 October 2007

Seasons change

The pressing of the ‘stop’ button on the stopwatch. A small pump of the fist. Two minutes lying absolutely, physically spent on the grass, under an Elm next to the running track. A time of 16:35 recorded.

My preparation leading up to last Wednesday’s assault on The Tan was about as good as I could have hoped. Short runs on Saturday and Monday, a long one on Sunday with other gym sessions spaced inbetween. Wednesday came and the temperature was pleasant without being overbearing. No breeze to speak of. I spent some time warming up and stretching. I was almost afraid to start. I knew what was going to be asked of my body to record my best time. I also knew that to miss out on a sub-17 minute time (again) was going to leave a bitter disappointment longer lasting than the physical pain of running it.

The first 1 km was about equal with previous weeks, about 4:20. Brisk but not flat out. The run up Anderson Street was also quite strong and judging by my relative placing to others, about the right pace. I passed my first marker a little over and the second marker (12:30) about right. The difference this time was I knew I was running stronger, felt fitter and had a lot to give at the end. At the 3km marker I lifted my intensity to come home. Legs pumping, gut screaming and the same thought at the same corner: "a taxi would be so much easier."

This was my best time by 26 seconds. I was proud of the achievement but without resting on my laurels, the next target is 16:29 (my boss’ best time). He has been on holidays this last two weeks. Hopefully he has drunk beer and eaten chocolates. Somehow I suspect he will come back fitter and faster than ever. Oh well. I’ll be trying.

This week’s GG recommendation is Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter … and Spring (SBS Wed 1030P). A part of SBS’ South Korean festival, this was an art house hit in 2003/04 by director Kim Ki-duk who is also responsible for Time and 3-Iron.

Set in a small Buddhist temple, in the middle of a river, a young monk follows the seasons of his life (hence the allegorical nature of the title). This film is beautfilly shot and is very contemplative in parts. The themes are very accessible even if some of the plot points are a little obvious : from innocence to knowledge to repentance to wisdom.

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