I’ve done a lot of self reflection over the past 48 hours.. In fact I feel like I’ve just been sat behind the metaphorical wall I hit whilst out running Sunday afternoon. To be honest I’d still be there if it wasn’t for all the people I feel I’d be letting down..including myself. I started these jottings to track my journey through all 3 marathons.. I wanted to track the highs but also the lows.. I just wasn’t prepared for the low part as much as I thought I would be..
Monday is my one rest night a week.. the one night where I can relax and forget about the countless miles of running and just sit and chill.. Chill being an appropriate word considering last night was spent icing my knees.. (and no not sugar icing as one friend suggested).. I spent most of this particular rest night doubting all the hardwork Ive put in over the past 12 weeks.. the hard miles I’ve covered and the blood, sweat and tears I’ve put into where I am right now. Going through all this is normal people were telling me.. Your going to go through times like this.. You just gotta forget about it and get back out there.. Thats the problem with marathon training.. your out on the road for a hell of a long time.. and its a long time to be alone with your thoughts.. that voice in the back of your head telling you that your getting tired or that your bored. Wondering what everyone else is doing whilst your in some field somewhere with noone for company but all the bugs that annoyingly keep landing on your face and those annoying cars that give you absolutely no room whatsoever when going past you.. (one day ill literally just run over their bonnet and roof.. depending how many miles Ive been running by that point!).. When the words on the ipod start getting drowned out by the voices telling you that you cant keep going then thats when the problems start.. and thats what happened to me on Sunday.. the voices were telling me I hadnt eaten enough, that it was too late to run, that my routine had been ruined, that it was too warm.. God knows what was even playing on my ipod to be honest.
So this is the part where I tell you that I slept on it and woke up this morning feeling ready to crack on and nail it again right? Hmm.. almost. I was still doubting myself and wondering if Id be able to get out tonight and run the scheduled 40 minutes that occurs on a tuesday eve.. to counter this I decided to google ‘marathon losing motivation’.. however after typing just ‘marathon losing’ I was given the options of ‘toe nails, weight and control of bowel movements’.. luckily I still have all my toenails and can control when I go to the toilet.. anyways.. moving on.. when i finally found what I was looking for (theres a song in there somewhere).. I was shown everything deep down I already knew.. Change your routine!
Living in the countryside I’ve got quite a good 8.5 mile route Ive used for the majority of my training.. whether it be the whole distance or for instance running 6.5 then turning round for another 6.5 to get a half marathon distance.. I figured that if I could handle running the same routes over and over I could handle the boredom that comes from running for 4 hours straight right? Wrong.. Alarm bells were ringing when i realised I could visualise the entire route metre by metre.. I knew exactly how far Id ran at every point and I was literally counting down the seconds of each run.. Something had to give.. and sunday it was my sanity..
So fast forward to this evening to me being in the worst mood ever (apologies to my amazing wife).. and apologies to the wheelie bin which got knocked over on my approach to my front door.. (ive picked it up now.. altho Jen tells me it isnt actually our bin).. I grabbed my headphones and went to sit on the bed and try to get my head in the game.. Jay Z – Jungle, Aloe Black – I’m the Man.. eventually started to do the trick.. I decided on a different route and even different running gear.. including different trainers.. I tried to make everything slightly different to sunday in an effort to cast aside the negative energy associated with my ‘off day’.
It worked. I hit the 40 min mark at a decent pace about 3 minutes from home.. and decided to carry on for those extra few minutes. I ran with a smile on my face and a spring in my step as I knew I could do it.. Yeah there were going to be stumbling blocks in the way and I have no doubt there will be a few more.. but its what makes us human i guess and what drives great people to achieve great things. People can question my greatness but it will be the same people sitting at home tucking into their carb heavy evening meal at the end of September whilst they tell their partner “This guy I know did 3 marathons this month.. wish I could do something like that but I just dont have the time”.. (I’m sure there are plenty of blog posts around that will tell you to make time).. I know ill complete these challenges Ive set myself and I know at times I’ll enjoy it and at times i’ll absolutely hate it.. but I’ll get there.. no one said it was going to be easy. I dont think I’d be bothering if it was to be honest…
Credit to Eminem – Phenomenal for the Subject Lyrics. The song from the hit film ‘Southpaw’ which I highly recomend.
Until next time….. FOCUS!