Setting goals and not meeting them. Wanting to be better but somehow it seems like too much hard work to reach that goal. The frustration at wanting/needing/desiring to be better yet that couch/TV/CAKE/duvet is somehow better than the work required to be better. The constant fight with myself to enjoy the relaxing feeling of chilling out on the couch with a duvet eating cake watching a really entertaining TV show yet all of that is escaping the fact that there’s work to be done.
I’m getting better at ignoring that part of me that wants to hide on the couch. What helps is feeling better each time I get out. Some days are horrific. The mental capacity to cope with horrific days and fight my lazy arse self that wants to hide from the world on the couch is sometimes too much.
Why am I telling you this?
I’m a crazy distance runner who runs a marathon for fun and I like to challenge myself to run bigger distances. I’ve run 77 marathon distance plus events. If I’ve done that many I must really LOVE running. I’m bonkers about running. Running is fun fun fun.
No. No it isn’t. Running is not fun. It’s hard. It’s stupidly tough. Running pushes me to the very limits of uncomfortable with the constant challenge to keep moving – just keep moving forward!! How can this be described as fun! Why do I keep pushing myself to go further?
Training long and hard to achieve the ability to run for longer even though it’s not comfortable. Putting in a stupid amount of hard work to make sure my body can handle the blood pressure change, the constant pounding to my back, the heat my own body produces due to the effort and then the maintenance required to keep my body moving for such a long period of time.
Getting up at stupid o’clock to turn up at an event wearing lycra and carrying the kitchen sink in the weirdest pack in preparation for the horrific mileage I’m going to take on. Nope. Still not fun.
Meeting new people who tell me their names and stories only to forget their names!! The constant feeling of embarrassment because I recognise people but for the life of me I can’t remember their names. What do I say. Do I hug people, shake their hands, wave hi – I just want to hide, go back home.
The crowds – busy events = lots of people. I’m lost in a sea of people who don’t know me. It’s incredibly stressful.
Some of the events are planned routes that take you out into the countryside. That means if I’m not running with someone, I’m running alone on a trail far from home or help.
All of this makes the idea of turning up to any of these events or even training for something like this as utterly bonkers. This is why I can call myself a crazy runner. I’d have to be crazy, right?
Yes running is tough, it hurts, the crowds, the people, the effort, the pain, surrounded by people yet completely alone and all of this is pushing me outside my comfort zone!! Not taking the choice of staying at home, afraid of everything, constantly hiding from the world and avoiding the hard work involved to get me stronger. I wouldn’t meet the bizarre and wonderful people I’ve met. I wouldn’t know about these fabulously beautiful trails that I’ve travelled to and run. I wouldn’t know that I’m far stronger than I think I am.
There is a complete contradiction of purpose and goal. The constant fight against myself. I’m damaged goods, depression is part of who I am, I spend most of my time trying not to hide under the duvet. I want to be fitter, stronger so I am prepared for…….. I have no idea what for but I need to be prepared – for something!!
I don’t run because it’s fun. I run because I’m pushing myself to be stronger and fitter. I’m fighting against the lazy, no, not lazy – part of me that wants to quit everything because I’m not good enough. I run because it hurts less being stronger and fitter. I run to feel better. I run to control my depression and constant fear of everything going wrong. I feel better after I’ve worked hard. This is why I run.
Oh – I also ran 28 miles of the Ridgeway 40. It was scenic, windy, tough and very cold in places. The marshals were very well organised as always for an LDWA event. My right shin however was not happy after mile 20 and continued to feel more like a bag of knives contained in my skin. I could have slogged out the last 12 miles but I’d enjoyed myself up to that point and didn’t want the risk an injury that would have me out of running or training for a while.