Why is it never enough?


Last week I ran 100.4km.

Over a hundred kilometres.  Over 62 miles. Total running time was 8h 56mins and 31 seconds – longer than most people’s working day. Definitely longer than mine.

Three of those runs were in London (two on consecutive days) and one in Marlow where the route was very, very (veryveryveryveryvery) hilly.

I should have been elated after that last run; I had just done something that ought to have given me a boost or at least a fleeting sense of accomplishment. But no – all I could feel was like an utter failure because the run had felt so hard. Part of it was probably the accumulation of stress put on the body over the week while a big part of the pain and misery was due to those infernal hills. But that was (is) neither here nor there – all that mattered was that I felt I had put in a weak performance. And feeling “meh” after a run is not a new thing; no matter what I do I always feel like I should have done MORE.

Today (Tuesday after the hilly run on Sunday) I did an early 4am run (to get it in before work) and pretty early on decided that I was going to treat it as a recovery run of some sort (never do those!). On a sensible level I do realise that just because my brain resets the running week on a Monday, the body doesn’t follow suit. All my body knows, is that I was out running – again- and it wasn’t enjoying it! So the plan was to do an easy 10km, which then got pushed to 12km. As I was on the final kilometre though my legs just took a turn towards Regents Park. All on their own I might add; my brain could just sit there like a jockey on an out of control horse (a slow one that should have been sent to the glue factory ages ago) and desperately try and pull on the reigns to turn back towards home. Legs one but all the way around the park the brain jockey was complaining about it. It was a beautiful morning – half an hour before sunrise there was a beautifully faint, pink light being cast on London. I knew the park would be beautiful and that it was; covered in wafting mist with the honks of the Canadian geese echoing. So it was worth it and my distance got pushed up to 18km.

Any normal person would have been happy with that run – I managed to get (what most people consider to be) a decent distance done on a body that felt like a cesspool of lactic acid. But was I? Was I heck! The distance was close enough to my 25km that I could have (should have) done it. Or at least crept up to the 20s. And I really could have done it for sure, that’s how it works – you push past the pain, but I would have hated every miserable step.

I feel like it’s time to bring back the joy into my running. I am stuck in this loop of expecting a long run every time I hop into my Nikes which means I often dread the runs. I have exhausted most sensible routing options in my part of London in order to get 25km done and there are now roads that I avoid because I am so bored of running on them that they make me sick. Literally sick. It has been a long while since I have had that elated sense of flying as I was running. And don’t get me wrong; there have been some good runs but that runners high has been elusive. I have no idea how to dial back the distance and be ok with it but something needs to change. I want to fall in love with running again before I’ll want to divorce that too…




4 thoughts on “Why is it never enough?

  1. Found your blog by random and stayed because the way you describe running is the way I feel about it down to a tee.

    I don’t know if it’s an option but I recommend trail running as a way to add a new element. That doesn’t have to mean mountains and secluded valleys just get off the road.

    I’ve found a huge number of little green belts in our city using Strava’s heat map (labs.strava.com) that don’t show up on maps.


    1. Hi James! Ah, a fellow masochist? 🙂 Oh hang on, it’s not meant to always be so bloody painful.. I’ll be running more and more out in the country so trail running would be an option in that sense. I just worry that I wouldn’t get the same sense of achievement from it. Not that I’m getting it anyway these days… That Strava thing is new to me; will check that out. Thanks; both for reading and for the tips!


      1. hello, hello my lovely! I found your blog because I used to have a blog that chatted with your blog quite often (think something about puddingthedamageon), but then I got a job, and got super busy, and got to travel some… And now I’m back to the blog.

        But I agree with your friend, James…trails are where it’s at! I run on them often, and I’ve had my ass straight handed to me on many of them. Twenty miles on a trail is like being hung out to dry sometimes!

        I’ve read up on your blog, too! Good to see you are running further and faster! Sorry about some of the other things – but you are full of …sisu.



      2. Oh hello, you!!! Soooo good to hear from you; I’ve actually been thinking a lot about you and wondering how you were. Sounds like things are going well – I’d love to hear more.

        The idea of trail running is definitely something that I’ve been toying with but what I’ve started doing is more hills. Just completely changing my route has helped a lot with rediscovering the passion for running.

        Anyway, so good to have you back on here! Xxxx

        Liked by 1 person

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