I'm a woman

I'm a woman
Photos copyright Laurence Gouault
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Sunday, 1 May 2011

The Mirror of Simple Souls and the Sakuru Michi, by Simple Stevie Haston

The mirror tells the truth! I don’t look like a runner; I don’t look like a rock climber! I am in deep trouble, a bog of treacle. I sacrificed a lot to become excellent at rockclimbing and it worked, I am trying to do the same at running and it’s not working. I became a bit depressed, so I took time off work to get on track with the running. It worked in a way. I did 100 mountain miles and alotta up and down. I had some tendinitis in the ankle and my patella was a bit stuck at the start of the week. At the end of the week the patella was fine and the ankle was very bad. However I was really happy, lost 3lbs and felt like I was running, then I woke up and couldn’t get out of bed. Even slept most of a day and felt like I had a hangover. It was hay fever but I didn’t know it. 
Every year my hay fever gets worse but I am always in denial about it. Hay fever is one of the reasons I like high mountains, above 2500 meters there is normally no veg. It’s ironic that someone like me who adores flowers and talks to trees, has to avoid them. In Ariège where my house is I planted a Wisteria and it loved the south facing front wall of the house, now I can’t open the windows when it’s in bloom! In Ariège I spent a lot of time underground looking at rocks that look like flowers and grow without pollinating. In Italy where I am now the Spring is full blast, blossoms everywhere, it’s a riot of sparkling colors and I feel like I have a very serious illness. Anyway that’s life for you. I can’t do much about being disabled by flowers except laugh. So my other problem is I can’t shake myself outta my body at the moment, I can’t change it, I am just too big to be a decent runner. To become a good climber I lost a lot of muscle, and some of it seems to have crept back, behind my back as it were. It’s very annoying, as I really want to do a decent time in the Tor de Geants, and get a Lake District Bob Graham or a Welch Paddy Buckley. I have always promised myself a B.G and intend to get one, but it would of course be nice to get a good one. The trouble with this terrible desire is that I really need to lose about 10kg or more and I really don’t understand the how of it. To loose weight while climbing is hard enough but your calorific needs are small, to loose weight while doing 30 hours of running a week when you need to eat like a ravenous ogre is plane crazy. And at the moment because of the pollen I can’t run. So this last week I have walked to the super market twice total 8 kms and gained 3lbs!

The Sakuru Mitchi is a road race in Japan, and I always think about it when it’s on, but this year for obvious reasons I am thinking about it more. It’s 250 kms long and only a little up (1500m), it is supposed to be one of the great runs which is unusual if you think it’s not in the mountains or the hills. It’s a great run because of the spirit of the runners and the fact that it was inaugurated because an ordinary Bus driver planted 1500 cherry trees along the way! They do love their cherry blossom in Japan and so do I. Anyway it’s such a pretty story I thought I’d share it with you, perhaps you would like to do the run, or just gain some strength and hope from thinking of that lovely man planting those cherry trees along that bus route from one side of Japan to the other. If there were more Sakuri Mitchis and why not, the world would of course be a little more beautiful. It would of course have a bit more pollen in it, bad for me, but I would rather suffer than not have flowers and great inspiring stories like this one. I hope Japan is able to overcome its time of trouble and look forward to a better spring.