This year has officially been a dud year as far as running is concerned. After putting in amazing mileage last year, my performance this year has gotten worse and worse. It all just feels a bit like a … schlep. A schleppity-bloody-schlep. A granny woddle. I have been sticking to my schedule but the distances are definitely shorter and the runs harder. It’s been necessary (though hard) but I have been having to re-programme my thinking in order to be able to live with myself.
I did spend two weeks in Finland in August and managed to run 20K pretty much every other day there but for some reason London is just not inspiring me at the moment. So much of running is mental (really – on so many levels) and when the brain isn’t in the game the body is very quick to jump on that bandwagon and make it even more difficult. One thing that did occur to me today on my way to work is that what I might do on a future early run, is to head to the centre of London. What an opportunity to run on the streets that you don’t normally even want to walk on. And it would be something new.
How do you know if the suffering and struggling is physical or mental? The fact that I start wheezing and being unable to pull in enough air after an hour is real enough. But then there are those runs when you just aren’t in to it and run down the checklist: do the legs hurt? No. Are you able to breath? Yes. Is the gingerbread man chasing you? No. Well get on with the bloody run then, you lazy cow!
Speaking of gingerbread man, I had to do one of my 4am early runs this morning and it’s always the usual (at this point, I should remind you that runners do like to share the gore). Sitting on the toilet for at least a half an hour while your system tries to start itself up, desperate to get to a point where you feel you’ll be able to run without shitting yourself. Even as you are closing the flat door behind you however, the knowledge that it’ll be a miracle if you can pull off more than an hour before the bottom falls off your bottom is a miracle. Oh and sure enough, the actual running was great as it always is when I am doing an early run but the Defcon levels rose slowly from 5 to 1. By at around 3-2 I was starting to loop towards home and luckily by the time “Defcon 1” rolled around my key was turning in the flat door. I had only managed to do 10km and after the short (but necessary) pitstop headed out for another 5km. Not the distance I wanted to be running but that’s how things are these days. Shit. (Ha!)
In order to compensate I have been hitting the gym as hard as possible and sometimes I will run until I can’t anymore and then head to the gym for an hour or so. Just to make sure I am getting my exercise endorphins. But it’s good to mix things up and a part of me feels happy not to feel hostage to the expectation of the long distance. Though all of me is still disappointed when I am not delivering 2h+ long run every time I go out.
Anyway, gonna hoik up my big girl pants now and stop complaining. Elämä on laiffii like a famous Finnish philosopher once said. 🙂