Wednesday, 16 March 2011

ever had one of those days?

My wife was ill all last week, never seen her sleep so much. While looking after her, holding down a job and training I felt the edge of illness creep up. I took tapering to the extreme, gave up running (except errands) and took to my bed before 8:30 every night in the hope that I would be fit enough to run. I'd looked forward to this weekend for such a long time, I'd organised the camping, bought the train tickets and entered both races, the 11k 1000m ascent trail race on the Saturday, and the 32k 2700m ascent run on the Sunday. I'd packed my rucksack, loaded up the food and was ready to hop on the train at 3:40, but I was feeling pretty sick myself and was unsure as to whether I should go or not. At 9:00am I made the decision, cursed my luck, and asked the school secretary to let the campsite know I would not be turning up. I felt sick, I had blown several hundred dollars in train fare and race fees for no reason. I was upset, and concerned, these races were going to be my marker for how well the training was going for Ultra Trail Mount Fuji STY. Not only was I not going, but I'd lost one weeks training already and probably another week before I could properly train again. I was having 'one of those days (weeks)'.

Only at 2:46 my world was knocked a bit out of kilter. About 8 feet out of kilter.

I felt the rocking, saw the window blinds sway, and had an ever so slightly sick feeling as the world went just a little wobbly. My colleague and I reacted  quickly and before the official alarm was sounded the kindergarten kids were already crawling under the tables. We waited there to hear if the tsunami warning was going to be sounded. If it had we would have to get them all up stairs to the second floor, quickly, and hope it would be high enough. Our school is no more than 300m from the water on a man made island near the port town of Kobe. It stood during the great Hanshin Quake but nobody quite knows what would happen in the event of tsunami. The all clear sounded just in time to dismiss the students as normal. We still did not know the extent of the damage 650 km further north. 
I couldn't have made it to my races, the trains weren't running, and in fact the races were cancelled. The train company refunded all my ticket because they had stopped the trains. It now sits in the collection box in the school office. Turns out it really was a very, very bad day, but not for me, I'm a very lucky man. The tsunami here amounted to about 3 cm, the buildings all stood, food is plentiful, and no body I know is missing.

Perspective is a wonderful thing and very easy to lose, mine just got pulled back into sharp focus.

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