Life: a racing metaphor

A two-hundred mile drive early Sunday morning, enjoying along the way the usual diet of beetroot juice, a honey sandwich, a couple of bananas. And a strong espresso from a thermos before the warm-up.

Riding flat-out from the gun and still dropped like a rock within the first half-hour. Legs bursting and the constant feeling of being about to puke. Not even halfway in, the thrown towel - no point driving oneself to sickness for a second time this month. Early call at the showers and a two-hundred mile journey back.

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Lack of doping controls, unfair game play, all the other conspiracy theories notwithstanding - it remains a challenge I can't seem to master easily, with different weaknesses rearing up each time I let the guard down and fail to attend to any seemingly diminutive detail.

And yet, hours into the drive home, the void feelings from the empty endeavour still mixing with the endorphines, the realisation that the only way out is through: more.

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Any similarity to real life is obviously not just a coincidence.

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Stars of track and field, you are.