“Good Morning,” said Deep Thought at last.
“Er..good morning, O Deep Thought” said Loonquawl nervously, “do you have…er, that is…”
“An Answer for you?” interrupted Deep Thought majestically. “Yes, I have.”
The two men shivered with expectancy. Their waiting had not been in vain.
“There really is one?” breathed Phouchg.
“There really is one,” confirmed Deep Thought.
“To Everything? To the great Question of Life, the Universe and everything?”
Both of the men had been trained for this moment, their lives had been a preparation for it, they had been selected at birth as those who would witness the answer, but even so they found themselves gasping and squirming like excited children.
“And you’re ready to give it to us?” urged Loonsuawl.
“Now,” said Deep Thought.
They both licked their dry lips.
“Though I don’t think,” added Deep Thought. “that you’re going to like it.”
“Doesn’t matter!” said Phouchg. “We must know it! Now!”
“Now?” inquired Deep Thought.
“All right,” said the computer, and settled into silence again.
The two men fidgeted. The tension was unbearable.
“You’re really not going to like it,” observed Deep Thought.
“All right,” said Deep Thought. “The Answer to the Great Question…”
“Of Life, the Universe and Everything…” said Deep Thought.
“Is…” said Deep Thought, and paused.
“Forty-two,” said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm.
It’s been six years, but I still remember when we turned the corner and saw this.
We pointed, looked at each other, jaws dropped. Could it be..? No, it couldn’t, could it? Not like that, in the middle of the city, just standing there?
But of course it could. It was.
And it was magical.
Rome. The Eternal City. Never have I been in a city where the past was so present.
I am thinking that maybe I should go back next year.
Remember my list? A marathon has been on that list since forever, and just like I was determined to get my driver’s license before turning 30, a nagging voice in the back of my head has been going on and on about how I should finish my first marathon before turning 35.
The other day my friend Viki suggested that I join her for the 2014 Maratona di Roma, and before I had the time to say no, my whole body screamed YES! For some reason I always assumed my first (and only?) marathon would be in Stockholm, but Rome! How perfect is that?! I love Rome!
Also, coincidentally, I turn 35 next year.
I might be running a marathon a year from now.
I’ve been feeling slighly off the last week. My mind has been unable to focus on anything at all, and my body has felt weak. My second last running session ended after only 18 minutes with me hitting the infamous wall: heart racing, completely out of breath, shaking, nauseous, legs unable to move. I had only run 3.2 km and couldn’t even walk.
The next time wasn’t much better. 20 minutes, and I had that same wall within spitting distance the whole time. I can’t spit very far.
The last month or so I have constantly tried to run faster, pushing myself a little harder every time. An average speed under 10 km/h was not acceptable, heck, I didn’t want to see an average speed under 10.5 either. I ran 5k in 29 minutes time and time again, trying to break my personal record each time.
Then I hit the wall twice, and it scared me. It scared me so much that I didn’t want to run anymore.
So today I thought I’d try something different. I told myself, today I will run slowly and safely, but I will run longer than before. Today I will run for an hour, and I won’t care about how fast or far I go. I will walk if needed, but I will stay on that treadmill for one hour.
So I stepped on the treadmill, and jogged off. I varied my pace as needed, I slowed down and even walked for a few seconds here and there to get my heartrate back to a healthy number, I felt relaxed and at ease and before I knew it, an hour had passed. An hour had passed, I had run for an hour!, and I still had more in me. I had run 9.5 km and thought, hey, why stop now?
I’m a shooting star leaping through the skies
Like a tiger defying the laws of gravity
I’m a racing car passing by like Lady Godiva
I’m gonna go go go
There’s no stopping me
So I didn’t stop. I ran faster.
After running for an hour I increased my speed to 11.5 km/h for the last 250 m of my first 10k ever.
I ran 10 km in 1 hour, 2 minutes and 44 seconds, and I could have kept on running. How the last 30 minutes were somehow easier than the first is beyond me, but they were, and I didn’t come anywhere near the wall, and even though my knees hurt a little and I got a blister on one toe, I didn’t want to stop.
I left the gym feeling euphoric, empowered, filled with energy and sky high on endorphines.
4 weeks ago I joined the plank challenge with a starting time of 1 minute 24 seconds, or 84 seconds.
Today, I held up for 4 minutes 8 seconds, or 248 seconds.
That is a 195% increase in four weeks, or roughly three times as long.
I am flabbergasted.