When you are training for something, it is a complete pain in the arse when your running mojo decides to go AWOL. That feeling of dread when it’s time for your planned run. When you run and your mind doesn’t want to play ball and you end up in my case, having a panic attack and crying.
I guess, since I started running back in 1998 (that makes me feel so old) I’ve had a love/hate relationship with running. Going in fits and starts, then entering a race to have a goal and some structure to my training. I do quite like having a training plan in place, no matter what the weather, look at my plan, trainers on and off I go. Over the years and especially living in the Lake District, I have been running in some awful weather. I do quite like running in the rain and the hot shower afterwards always feels so good.
I think naivety is the best training tool. When I did my first marathon, which ironically is the fastest one I have ever completed ( 4hrs 13), but I was 13 years younger!! You don’t know the level of hard work ahead and because it is all new it kinda feels different and exciting. I have run 4 marathons now, with experience I now know what my body can do or can’t as is the case at the moment.
For me it’s my lack of belief in myself and my running ability. The mind is a very powerful tool, at times it can paralyze the body. When I am running, I find this particularly on my longer runs, it is the time when I am not distracting myself, so any negative thoughts hit me like a speed train. It feels terrible and no endorphins in the world can counteract this. It makes me think, all those you judge me or roll their eyes when I say about my running achievements are right. Looking me up and down and saying “you run?” Yes I am not skinny, I have boobs and no that doesn’t affect my ability to put trainers on and use my feet. It is easy for people to say how silly that is or don’t think that, but the mind doesn’t do that, if it did life would be simple.
I did have glimmers of my mojo returning as I ventured out in my trail shoes. Being in the hills meant I was too busy concentrating on not tripping over, to give my head time to think of anything else. I loved it. I was amazed at how much longer my minute miles were, but then thought a mile is a mile whether you take 8 minutes or 20 minutes. It was more enjoyable being on this terrain. I had a fantastic run with my friends The Colbys. They are my running heroes. I was very nervous when they said come out with us, getting worked up thinking “what if I am too slow for them” but I kept up. I was chuffed when they said how well I ran. 13.5 miles in the fells on a gorgeous day, I felt 10 feet tall.
Then disaster struck and I tore my calf muscle a couple of weeks ago. Gutted doesn’t cover it as I am now not going to be able to run in the London Marathon. Hopefully with patience, though I am not the world’s most patient person, ice and help from my physio Sue, I will be back running in a couple of weeks and get my Lakeland 50 training back on track. I think not being able to run has made me want to run even more. Fingers crossed for a speedy recovery and head to be in a better place. Now it’s officially British Summertime, the weather will be better.