Monday, 23 September 2013

Dangerous territory & some much needed inspiration

Throughout my running career, I've had peaks and troughs in my training and have often struggled with motivation. It’s always been temporary though, and with the support of other running friends have always made it back into my trainers and out of the door, before too long has passed, or too much damage to my fitness has been done.

At the moment though, I'm going through a really difficult time where I just can't be bothered to go out for a just feels like it's a chore that can be ignored...and it seems to have struck me worse than ever before. After having so much time off with the injury, I can't believe that I'm not taking full advantage of having recovered, and I don't really understand what's wrong with me - on one level, I do want to run, because I'm a runner, and I want to be fit enough to race, I'm putting on lots of weight at the moment, and I'm feeling pretty shitty about not running but when it comes down to it, I've just got no desire to get out the door and put in the effort. Whereas once I would have felt terrible about letting days & days pass without getting a run in, and to see a week on my training plan with lots of “zero miles” entries would have been a huge embarrassment, I seem to have stopped caring that much :(

I think I'm in pretty dangerous territory and I have to rediscover my commitment to running, and fast. I have to get back into a routine whether I like it or not, I have to stop filling my face with crisps, cakes and chocolate, and I have to start running regularly again because otherwise I can see my weight gain spiral out of control and my fitness levels plummet and my status as a runner, disappear. I had a real wake up call this morning – I walked up the escalator at Oxford Circus tube station on my way to work, stairs I've run up before, and I really felt the effort in my legs. What?! Last year I was an ultra runner who could (relatively) comfortably run 50-odd miles, this spring, I was an ultra runner who just about managed 262 miles in 10 days, next year I'm meant to be tackling 100 miles in a day! But I can’t walk up a flight of stairs! WFT?!

It’s just not good enough to get so blasé about my fitness, my health and who I am…being a marathon runner has become an integral part of me and I certainly don’t want e to become that unfit couch potato who tells stories about when they used to run, that no-one believes...

This morning, I was catching up on twitter and facebook, reading about friends who've put in some amazing performances at events over the last few days, that sounded absolutely fantastic. I'm so proud of each and everyone of them. There was the whole team of awesome and always inspiring tweeps finishing the High Peaks 40 including Chris who was running his first ultra; there was Catherine, Susie and Lisa who all ran the Toad, which I enjoyed so much last year; Lena completing the Brownlee Triathlon; Allan finishing the Cotswold 100, just months after breaking his leg; Karen smashing a PB in her half, and Phil finishing Langdale, his first marathon after the injuries he picked up at the 10in10, with our other Brathay friends, Malc, Eleanor, Charles & Angela, while the Godfather, Steve, ran his incredible 600th marathon there, supported by his lovely wife Teresa who ran the half. Over Saturday night, Justin ran at Equinox24, completing over half the distance he covered, barefoot! For the past few weeks, the wonderful Chris Heaton has been taking part in his mind-blowing 30 marathons in 30 days challenge for Brathay Trust, and Traviss and Foxy have been running marathons across America. Lindley's flown out to Greece this morning determined to conquer Spartathlon this year, and Mimi's gone too, to do the DOUBLE! And they're just the people who I can think of, off the top of my head, doing things this weekend! I'm sure there are many others.... 

Next week, it's the Berlin Marathon, and although I have a number, I've decided to forfeit my place because I'm just not fit enough for it. I'm going to miss Johnny's 100th, and running with a whole crew of friends who are going to be out there - Kaz, Heather, Mel, Craig, Keith, Rosemary and John. I'm gutted not to be there.

Every person mentioned above has played such a massive part in my running achievements so far, and there are lots of others too who have made a difference with their support and advice over the years. What an incredible group of people they are - I feel absolutely privileged to know them all. I think I owe it to everyone to stop being so lazy, stop making excuses and just get back to training. There's not a single reason to stop running, and a thousand reasons to keep at it, especially now that I feel really depressed thinking about what everyone else was up to while I was sat on the sofa this weekend! I want to get back to being able to really enjoy being involved and to feel like a legitimate part of the awesome running community again and to take part in some of these fantastic events...and not keep pulling out of them!

So now I've given myself a good talking to through this this post, I've got to get out there and actually do the running. Taking any more time off just can’t be an option any more…I really don’t want to have to change the name of my blog and I definitely need to add some more medals to my collection!

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