Monday, August 19, 2019

Discrimination

Just imagine. Just imagine you have trained for years, paid the price in blood, sweat and tears. You get better and better because you keep pushing yourself past your limits again and again and eventually, after years of hard work that most people cannot even imagine, you reach the required standard for selection into your country's team for the World Championships.

No, don't fear, I'm not talking about myself.

To make things even more difficult, as if trying to achieve international standard by itself wouldn't be difficult enough, just imagine you are legally blind and cannot train like you or me can, as described vividly in this post. And despite those obvious disadvantages you manage to overcome all obstacles and manage to qualify.

And the you don't get selected, for no other reason that you are blind:

I'm outraged! That is just so fucking unfair, I cannot even put it into words. Plus, I was under the impression that there are laws against discrimination?

Compared to that, my own little training adventures pale into insignificance.

I felt better than last week, despite doing the exact same cycle route again on Tuesday. Maybe my legs are more getting used to it, who knows. I still felt tired on Thursday but much better on all the other days, and the odd tired day is allowed after all.

On Sunday I was feeling adventurous enough to head out into the Wilderness. I tried to get a feel for the land for that ultra in September, and while I still don't know the actual route I stitched together a route using an app call Komoot, which helped to plan things in advance and also was an invaluable navigation tool during the run itself. The software itself is excellent, absolute top marks, and if you are looking for a tool for planning your cycling, running or hiking routes, this is the only one you need to look at. Trust me. What wasn't quite so good was the quality of the map, and I learned reasonably quickly that just because there is a trail marked on a map that does not mean there is an actual trail on the mountain. After twice getting stuck in a jungle of fern, brambles and gorse I had learned my lesson and started to stick to visible paths instead of blindly following a voice from the mobile. I'm not blaming Kamoot for the lousy map data, btw., the same non-existing trails are in the Strava maps as well.

Anyway, I tagged off Great Sugarloaf (which I had been planning on doing for over a year anyway) and Little Sugarloaf as well on the way back home, though it was mainly hiking and precious little running (as well as scrambling on all fours on some worryingly steep bits), and moving up a steep loose scree slope is bloody hard work, so it definitely was a damn good workout despite the lack of running, and I was out for well over 3 hours - and absolutely knackered afterwards! But it was the good kind of knackered, or "pleasantly tired" as Lydiard would have called it, and I have a good set of memories. I'll head into the mountains again in the following weeks. I clearly need the training!

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