Sunday, 17 January 2016

To run or not to run?



The last couple of weeks I've hardly run at all. The desire to run is there but my body hasn't been up for it at all. Oddly, reducing the volume and intensity of all my training has resulted in niggles becoming much worse and increasing fatigue. I don't understand that at all but later on today I'm going to see a guy who specialises in treating runners. I'm apprehensive in case he finds some major injury, but at the same time seeing him will ease my mind because either there's not much wrong, just a few better targeted exercises needed or there is a significant injury in which case I can get it treated.

I wrote a while back about how running has gotten under my skin, how it's no longer something I do as part of a lifestyle or fitness choice but how it's become part of life itself. I love how this relationship with running has developed but it leaves me vulnerable and exposed. Whilst the highs are amazing and even the every day bimbling along is life-enhancing, the lows really rattle me. My brain knows that there will be lows: running won't always go well, there will be times when resting is more important, sometimes niggles will surface. The frustration of not being able to run when I want to and when I do manage to run feeling clumsy and slow is unbearable.

This was always going to be an easy month as far as training goes but I don't think I'd really appreciated how hard it would be taking a rest month when everyone else is 100% committed to new training plans and full of excitement at their running goals for the new year. I've always been vulnerable to the 'you're only worthwhile if you work your hardest all the time' kind of mind-set, that my value as a person is measured by what I achieve, so having a month where I actually need to not achieve and not train hard is really challenging. Despite knowing that rest is an integral part of training and that sometimes the best thing to do is to back right off it's still very hard feeling like I'm being lazy.

Social media really doesn't help sometimes. For someone like me Facebook in particular can be a great way to feel inadequate seeing everyone posting up how many miles they've run already and how fast. That's one reason why I stay away from Strava and am only half-hearted with the #UKRunChat Endomondo challenges. On the other hand I've had some really lovely messages of encouragement from twitter-land friends; I guess in a way running is also family. There are some truly lovely people out there- most of whom I've never met, maybe never will meet but the sharing of experiences and advice, the friendly support is just wonderful and I really do appreciate my virtual running family.

And I have to mention my fella.  He is being awesome. That's especially impressive as he found out this week he has a place to run UTMB and (quite rightly) it's really all he can think about.

Normal service here will resume at some point. I'm looking forward to having some happy running stories and adventures to share with you.

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