Monday, April 28, 2003

Bat vs. Beaver
On Friday evening I went to Stuttgart for a surprise visit of Julia. Well, I was the one who was surprised - surprised that she was not at home but still in Cologne for her job training. So I called Geli, an old friend from Ingolstadt. Luckily she was at home, picked me up and gave me shelter, even she was a bit stressed from work and travel preparations. So I left her after breakfast and spend a nice day in Stuttgart, sitting in bars and reading my new thesis material.

Being back in Ingolstadt I had a Sunday to kill, so it was time again for a long sleeping session, some TV - I hadn't seen a bike race for long time - and sport. I decided to test my level of fitness. Several times I closely failed a semi-marathon time of 1 hour 30. This year the mark has to be taken. I rode to the Baggersee in the evening and startet running at dawn. 21.1 km is four rounds here, so each round should be run in 22.5 minutes at most, my mind calculated. I didn't want to make the common mistake of starting too fast, but that was a mistake, too. I timed the first round at 28 min, which was far too slow. The second round was a bit better, but even the 25 min were not what I believed I could run. Moreover it was the last time when I saw a fellow runner for this evening. It was dark now and it also became very quiet. Just the frogs quacked all over the lake in an enormous volume. Running became quite hard, with no audience or fellow runners it's quite difficult to motivate oneself.

Cause I was the only person here right now I startled several animals which took possession of the gravel path or the sourroundings. It was in lap three when I had the first collision this evening. One of the many bats which are flying here in the evening was a bit eager with her flight maneuvers and slapped me on my right cheek with her wing. I was really startled.

Lap four also held a special surprise for me. In the second half of the lap - when running already became easier because of all this distraction and the approaching finish - I almost fell over a beaver, which seems to have no good ears. He heard my steps much too late, and then panically ran over the path, that I had to make a small jump not to fall over it. Wow, I can't say who was more startled, the beaver or me, 'cause I had'n seen him before either. I didn't knew beavers can get that big. It was quite impressive species with its big flat tail. Anyway, that should be the last animal sight for the evening.

My running time was bad, I arrived at 1 hour 47. On the other hand it's not that bad either. On an event I have asphalt road, an audience and pace runners. This all makes up for several minutes. Therefore I just have to get 10 minutes faster from now to take the mark this year. And I still have some time for training, the year is not over yet. In August I plan to take the mark in a semi-marathon in Rostock and to prepare for my first full-marathon at the end of September in Berlin, for which I already registered. If I am eager and willing, maybe I'll run another semi-marathon before.

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