I thought it was time for a more personal post here on Splodz Blogz – an update on my running progress in readiness for the Lincoln 10k in just a few weeks time.
I really fell out of favour with running for several weeks. I did loads in January, and blogged about it and my goals a few times. February was harder. I forced myself to run although I really didn’t enjoy it. I hated the fact that my fitness didn’t seem to have improved, and I was struggling as much with every step as I was when I started at Christmas. I then had a week on holiday (skiing, so it wasn’t a lazy holiday by any means), followed by a particularly busy week, and then a rubbish cold.
After that break I was on one hand keen to get back into it again, although I found I actually I didn’t want to go out. Once again I forced myself to go for a run but I ended up giving up really easily. I was doing 2km and 3km runs and would come home incredibly tired and emotional, I really wanted to give up. My head just wasn’t there, I had no desire to run, no desire to exercise, I was feeling very lazy and my head was giving up way before my body (although my body wasn’t far behind).
A few chats with friends later and I realised a couple of things.
The first was that the goal of a sub-60 minute 10k road race doesn’t matter to anyone else except myself. In fact no-one else cares if I meet that time limit. It’s only me. Comparing myself to athletes who do nothing in their spare time but run was ridiculous. The problem I had was attitude. I was putting myself under an awful lot of pressure, and rather than using it to keep me going, I was seeing it as an impossible task and giving up before I’d even started.
The second was that the idea that I can’t run far enough is all in my head. The last four years I have managed to complete the Lincoln 10k. I’ve trained for the three months prior to it and when it came to race day I finished the distance fine. I got a PB three years in a row and only narrowly missed out last year due to pretty horrid sickness the night before. So what was the problem with the actual 10km? Just my own belief – well, non-belief.
I’m back running again. And while I’m not “enjoying it” yet, I don’t mind it. On Saturday I went out for a run late morning because it was nice out and I had time, and I ended up doing 10.5km. Ok so I was slow (1 hour 15mins), but I did it. I got back from that completely exhausted, totally shattered, and pretty much crawling by the end – but I was really happy that I’d done it. I had proved to myself that the distance was achievable, and it felt good.
And the speed? Well there’s a couple of weeks or so to improve my fitness between now and 3rd April, and while a sub-60 finish (or less than 63 mins making it a PB) would be a fantastic result, I’m trying to remember that no-one else is bothered except me. I just need to keep running.
Apparently I can’t help putting way too much pressure on myself. I really should learn I can’t do everything. Can you imagine me ever really grasping that?!