I know I’ve been suspiciously quiet for a while now. Being quiet isn’t really my thing. But being completely rubbish at running isn’t really my thing either. At least I’d like to think so.
I’ve been so rubbish that I haven’t really had anything positive to say about any aspect of running at all because the last few months have been physically and mentally painful. It’s physically painful to push your body through runs it doesn’t want to do because you know it’s the only way forwards. And it’s even more painful to tell your running friends you can’t run with them at the moment because you just can’t keep up. They don’t even believe you. And yet it couldn’t be truer. I got beaten in a 5k race last night by a friend who’s half way through growing a baby…and yes, I tried.
However, I think I’ve started to turn a corner. Not in terms of how my running is progressing, because it barely is, but in terms of my attitude, and that comes down to one thing…I’ve dumped the Garmin.
OK, not LITERALLY, because that would just be ridiculous and it’s pretty, and purple, and it gives me heart palpitations just thinking about it. But I have stopped looking at it and I’ve genuinely stopped caring. Because I’ve found that caring and worrying about my speed is the biggest barrier to getting me in my trainers. So I can’t realy afford to care right now.
I’ve been running for a long time now and during that time I’ve witnessed many friends go through cycles of going from the top of their game to the bottom, and then back to the top again. And the common denominator? Consistency. A consistent and sustained effort to climb back the ladder…slowly.
So that’s what I’ve been trying to do. After coming up with every excuse in the book not to go running (ie, the wolf of Wandsworth is on the loose so it would be too dangerous), I’m finally back in the habit and it’s much less of a chore and more just a part of daily life – mostly because the Berlin Marathon was creeping closer and closer and so it was either fight or flight and I ended up paying so much for the actual flights that fighting was the only option.
I’m literally running the slowest miles I’ve ever run but I am getting fitter. It doesn’t feel like it, it feels bloody horrible, but it wasn’t actually that many weeks ago that my ‘long’ weekend run was 8 miles and last week I ran 18.5 miles, slooooooowly. It was actually supposed to be 20 but much to my frustration and annoyance, it just didn’t happen.
I’m on track to run a marathon personal worst in two weeks time (except the time I ran around Medoc drunk, but I’m not sure we can count that one) but I’m more interested in the fact that I’m on track to run a marathon full stop. And it’s been a while since I can say that.
Done is better than perfect. A PW is better than a DNF or, worse still, a DNS.