She loves me, then she loves me not…

36 minutes and 40something seconds for the 8km time trial tonight. I have to admit though that I was coasting over the last kilometer or two. I felt a tad sluggish. Like there wasn’t enough gas in the tank to do what I normally like to do. My usual approach is to go really hard the last two or three kilometers. At that point we’re coming down the other side of a pretty steep hill. Foley’s Hill street, Bernard road, then Williams road. I push progressively harder to the finish. Tonight though I felt the sting in my legs. From about the 6.5km mark I kept imagining myself sprawled out on the grass, exhausted after the run. Thinking how nice that was gona be.

Screenshot_2015-08-12-23-42-49-1 Image obtained from http://caitchock.com/blog/

As much as I tried to get this image out of my head and concentrate on finishing strong I just couldn’t. When we turned off Seventeenth onto Harold avenue I saw the small group of people gathered just outside the Italian Club where Charlo running club does their runs from and I couldn’t have felt more relieved. I did collapse onto the grass in an exhausted heap once I was done. I lay there on my back for a little bit. 36 minutes isn’t too bad for now, especially given the lazy last couple of weeks I’ve had. It is really difficult (I’m finding) to keep pushing oneself when there isn’t a big race coming up. A Two Oceans Ultra or some other big deal of a race.

Motivation is a cruel teasing mistress. When she feels like it she showers me with love, and I feel like the king of the world. I run hard, I do my work outs,I get up early to put in my quotas before work etc… But when she is in one of her moods she is cold. She doesn’t leave me outright, but stands at a distance just out of my reach. Starving me of that love so I can’t do what I feel I have to do…

It is much the same with reading. Reading internal medicine that is.

Malignant hypertension: exudates, and retinal haemorrhages on ophthalmoscopy. When was the last time I did ophthalmoscopy when examining a hypertensive patient? Gotta make more of a habit of that. Fibrinoid necrosis and deposits. The red blood cells are damaged when they pass through these… and, and, and. Microangiopathic haemolytic anaemia. I read up on that earlier in the afternoon ’cause we have a patient in the ICU right now who we strongly suspect has malignant hypertension. Tolosa-Hunt syndrome, cavernous sinus thrombosis, and rheumatic heart disease (and of course if you read that you gotta look up infective endocarditis right? 😏) That’s what my ‘reading list’ has looked like lately. Based on patients that have passed through the critical care unit. I have swapped my medical physiology textbook for my medscape app. And I have read up on these conditions. To remind myself of the finer details (the last time I heard/read about cavernous sinus thrombosis I was in my 5th year at medical school!) It must be said though, that I read on the odd occasion when I was motivated. It is really difficult to sit and study when there isn’t some exam coming up.

I have a special admiration for the specialists I work under.Despite having worked so hard to get to where they are, to best help our patients they still read. An hour or two everyday, or at least every other day. To keep up to date with the latest findings (medical research is a never ending, ever progressing animal) and to remind themselves of the forgettable bits. I want to be like them.

At the moment though I find myself mostly waiting, lustfully waiting for Lady Motivation. She sidles up to me every now and then, and when she does. In those seemingly rare instances when she does I am able to do the things I want to do…

Maybe she'll call...?

Maybe she’ll call…?

Image obtained from http://vecto.rs/design/vector-of-a-cartoon-man-waiting-for-a-phone-call-coloring-page-outline-by-ron-leishman-22705

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Take a wrong turn out here…

There’s that saying ‘a picture tells a thousand words‘. I’ve been known to use well over a thousand words at a time in describing the goings-on in my life since I arrived here in the Eastern Cape a year and a couple of months ago. I thought I’d switch it up a little, and let a few images tell this latest story.

After I wrote that exam at the end of June my girlfriend Meryl came down to Port Elizabeth for a little bit. Having her around, and being able to see her everyday was a welcome reprieve from having to think about medical physiology all the time…

Dinner at one of the very many nice restaurants in Summerstrand. Good view of the beach that evening...

Dinner at one of the very many nice restaurants in Summerstrand. Good view of the beach that evening…

A bench in a little clearing at the bottom of Fordyce road in Walmer is a good place to sit and look out over Settlers Park Nature Reserve which is in a deep valley in between Walmer and Port Elizabeth Central. It was a llittle chilly though, Meryl wouldn't get out of the car so I just took a couple of snaps.

A bench in a little clearing at the bottom of Fordyce road in Walmer is a good place to sit and look out over Settlers Park Nature Reserve which is in a deep valley in between Walmer and Port Elizabeth Central. It was a little chilly though, Meryl wouldn’t get out of the car so I just took a couple of snaps.

Will Shakespeare has a play, I have a theatre. The curtain is yours…‘ It being that time of year we drove out to Grahamstown for the first weekend of the Arts Festival.

We're always roadtripping off to somewhere...

We’re always roadtripping off to somewhere…

Meryl being silly (ie being Meryl :-P ) in front of this cool sculpture we came across in Grahamstown

Meryl being silly (ie being Meryl 😛 ) in front of this cool sculpture we came across in Grahamstown

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I've mentioned the Jittery Citizens before I think. They are an improv comedy act that Meryl and I saw on our first date. So almost exactly 2 years later it was good to catch them at the National Arts Festival.

I’ve mentioned the Jittery Citizens before I think. They are an improv comedy act that Meryl and I saw on our first date. So almost exactly 2 years later it was good to catch them at the National Arts Festival.

The best piece of theatre we saw over that weekend was Body Language II: The Mating Game, a 50 minute solo high energy physical comedy in which Gaetan Schmid animatedly gave us his take on everything from the Big Bang Theory right through to the underlying evolutionary reasons for the roles of the sexes at a traditional South African braai (barbeque) to the subconscious and not-so-subconscious deliberate reasons why a girl actually allows you to notice she’s checking you out. It was fascinating stuff, and a good laugh all the same time.

It's just over 2 years now.  Meryl has added a special spice to my life...

It’s been just over 2 years now. Meryl has certainly added a special spice to my life…

This statistic may or may not be anecdotal but apparently there are more churches in Grahamstown than can be found within the limits of any other town/city in South Africa, a curious fact considering it is effectively a student town, built around Rhodes University.  This particular church is the Anglican cathedral, named after both Saints George,  and Michael.  Also curious,  I thought 😌

This statistic may or may not be anecdotal but apparently there are more churches in Grahamstown than can be found within the limits of any other town/city in South Africa, a curious fact considering it is effectively a student town, built around Rhodes University. This particular church is the Anglican cathedral, named after both Saints George, and Michael. Also curious, I thought 😌

An eerie bell tower on the grounds of St Andrews College, an 'uppity' institution according to a friend of mine :-P

An eerie bell tower on the grounds of St Andrews College, an ‘uppity’ institution according to a friend of mine 😛

On the weekend of 10 July we were in Knysna. I ran the Knysna marathon, an interesting experience. One has to be in Knysna the Friday night before the race to register and get a race number. The next morning from about 4.30am runners are taken up by minibus to a point up a mountain where we gathered wrapped in cozy red blankets (that were subsequently given away to charities) around little fires, waiting for the 7am and 8am marathon and half-marathon starts. When the starters gun was finally fired we set off on a route that seemed to ascend incessantly through the Knysna Forest.

I couldn't resist getting a couple of shots of the mountainous scenery along the route

I couldn’t resist getting a couple of shots of the mountainous scenery along the route

What else is there to do early on a Saturday morning? I mean surely shuffling along a dirt road on the side of a mountain is at the top of that list, no? :)

What else is there to do early on a Saturday morning? I mean surely shuffling along a dirt road on the side of a mountain is at the top of that list, no? 🙂

4hours 12 minutes wasn't too bad a return for what was a very tough hilly course, I feel...

4hours 12 minutes wasn’t too bad a return for what was a very tough hilly course, I feel…

Lunch at the waterfront afterwards

Lunch at the waterfront afterwards

We drove across to Jeffrey’s Bay after the race.

Jeffrey's Bay

Jeffrey’s Bay

Leaving Jeffrey’s Bay to go back to Port Elizabeth we didn’t take the N2 highway as we would normally have. Instead we drove along the R102, one of the old national roads. It turned out to be an inspired choice…

An old single carriageway bridge that goes over the Gamtoos river

An old single carriageway bridge that goes over the Gamtoos river

I've been asked why I'm still in the Eastern Cape. What is there to love about this place? I mean look, you take a wrong yurn around here and look where you end up

I’ve been asked why I’m still in the Eastern Cape. What is there to love about this place? I mean look, you take a wrong turn around here and look where you end up

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