Nothings wrong I’ve just got a lot on my mind…

For as long as I can remember I have always regarded running as a way of alleviating stress or a way to clear your mind of anything that’s troubling you.. Being someone that has a run a hell of a lot of miles over the past few months I believe it to be completely false.. If anything it makes it worse! I know people will say that it gives you time to mull things over and to think clearly as your running but I completely disagree.. with long distance running, if anything it makes you over think everything!

Being newly married and having a soon to be a teenage step daughter means there is often a lot of stress in our house.. admittedly most of it is caused by me! My wife and I also have quite hectic jobs and as I’ve previously mentioned she uses her spare time to complete further accountancy qualifications which leaves her quite tired most days.. I do admire her for how much she actually manages to fit into her day with me moaning added to that! So with all these stressful situations that occur both at work and at home you think I would look forward to an evening run to clear my head and just hit the pavement alone with only my music and my thoughts as company.. its these thoughts however that usually disrupt the running!

Ever since I was younger my mum always used to say, “Never go to bed on an argument”.. and its something that’s stayed with me all my life so far. It does mean that on occasion I follow my wife round the house ‘attempting’ to sort the row.. which annoys the hell out of her as shes a “walk round in silence for 2 days” kind of person.. I get her methods though as my way usually makes things 10 times worse! So when these scenarios occur and I’m scheduled to run it puts me off completely..Yeah it gives me chance to work out why I’ve been an idiot and how I can sort it out but it also makes me just want to go home and do it.. which doesn’t help when im 10 minutes into a 2 hour run.. If its work related its slightly easier since I have no choice but to wait until the next morning but it still isn’t helpful. My ideal scenario is.. music on and a smile on my face (if you know me your probably shocked that I smile occasionally!)  and this is what brings my eagerness to succeed in that particular session. I have to get myself completely in the zone otherwise I’m constantly staring at my current distance and times or shuffling through songs after they’ve played for about 10 seconds.. Without getting to this zone it just doesn’t work. That coupled with getting my routines completely right mean there is high potential for disaster.. I know what your saying.. “Just stop being a douche bag Ben”.. but that’s easier said than done! I’ve never been great at communicating out loud (which I guess is proven by my obvious writing talents!) and having come from a broken home never really understood the mechanics of a ‘happy family’.. Yeah I was never unhappy and my family have done a hell of a lot for me over the years but at the same time we’ve also never been that ‘picturesque family setup’.. It’s made me who I am today so in some respects I’m glad things worked out the way they did as it makes me strive to achieve things on my own..

I guess my incredible desire to succeed in these marathon attempts is down to my need to prove to not only myself but everyone else that I’m capable of achieving great things and that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. I also want to be inspiration to anyone else who’s spent their life feeling like they’re average and only capable of mediocre successes. Your only limiting your own potential if you think that way and that’s something I’ve only recently come to realise.. you waste so much time stuck in this mindset when you could just be getting on with it.

I’d be interested to hear from other marathon trainers about how their frame of mind at the time affects their training. I know it can be slightly easier on the shorter runs but what about the longer ones?

People do always say my wife deserves a medal for putting up with me so maybe I should give her one of my marathon ones? Does that count?

3 thoughts on “Nothings wrong I’ve just got a lot on my mind…

  1. My husband is a really natural runner (imo). He’s not Olympic-speed, but he’s faster than lots of people. And he really enjoys running. But he can’t run as well if he’s stressed or upset about something. For me, it doesn’t make a lot of difference. (but then I’m also a lot slower… 😉 )

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  2. Supportive spouses always deserve something! My husband is a saint for helping me with and supporting my training. And I agree, I tend to overthink when I do my long distance runs. I do not have the kind of mind that can go quiet – ever! I often lay awake in bed with my mind moving in a hundred directions, and find it difficult to simply sleep. My runs I don’t find are necessarily affected speed wise when I am working through something; however, I sometimes quit on a run when I am in a really annoyed state of mind. I just don’t have the same passion for being out there and enjoying the activity in that situation.

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  3. Hey Ben, enjoyed the post and really like the pic too.

    On the argument front and not going to bed on a tear-up, I’m the same and my little lady sounds exactly like yours. I too have a preen (teen now – turned 13 a couple of days ago) and I also have a nine year old girl too.

    Not wishing to try and teach you how to suck eggs and all that but the preen thing is huge. When my daughter metamorphosed from a loveable little girl into a monster I wondered what on earth happened – it’s just them turning from a little girl into a functioning adult with their own thoughts and opinions; they’re trying to work out who they are. And when they kick-off or do whatever it is that they do, it’s best to step away and let them smash up the house or do whatever. Then when the cheeky little hormones settle down, that’s the time to have a little chat. The little chat should reassure and explain that it’s ok and that it’s normal to behave this way – explain what’s happening. But it’s also important to explain that the behaviour needs to be brought under control too and explain how it might manifest in later years if the behaviour isn’t controlled/managed now. (That’s my tuppence worth on that one.)

    On the training and stress: if you’re stressed before you go out on a long run or before going out to do a workout, you are compounding the stress. Running hard, while cathartic to some extent, increases stress. You need to be careful not to overload your system. Make sure you’re getting plenty of rest and if you are fighting the world and throwing about some of your famous ‘diving headbutts’, just go out for a little pootle and feel it – feel the love and the beauty of the world. Remember, your time on this little spinning rock is short. Don’t waste it on flummery. Live it man. Live it.

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