The HR Juggler

Highs and Lows

Posted on: February 14, 2014

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Last time I wrote about progress, having run 14 miles, further than I had ever run before. In my head, I know I am still making progress, even more so than previously, as my long run last Sunday reached the once unimaginable length of 17 miles and I felt OK afterwards. And yet, and yet….this marathon training is messing with my mind and sometimes it’s not the long runs, but the short ones that seem a struggle. Runs where I try and fail to match the pace of the group. Runs where I feel sluggish and slow and can’t seem to propel myself forwards fast enough. Runs where I feel like I am just getting slower, despite all of the hours and miles I am putting in. Runs that leave me feeling bruised and disheartened and inadequate.

Of course, there are a million different reasons for this. I was tired, I didn’t fuel myself up adequately, I’m running with a faster group. It doesn’t change the fact that it feels tough. I know progress isn’t always linear, that setbacks are inevitable in this journey to running a marathon. I also know that it doesn’t matter…to anyone but me…whether I fly round the course or plod at the pace of a tortoise. It’s the doing it that counts and the relentless, unforgiving preparation. But also not just this…it’s the fundraising for an amazing charity, the personal challenge and achievement of doing something I have too often dismissed as impossible, that is the real lasting jewel here, the sense in the apparently nonsensical. The thing that really matters.

So, I had a bad run today. But, no one died. No one would have cared, apart from me, were it not for the fact that it made me upset afterwards. It doesn’t matter, because I will run again another day and next time it will be different and better. Running and marathon training brings with it highs and lows…yet also great learnings in the power that the mind exerts over the body in what is and isn’t possible.

There are 52 days between now and the Brighton marathon on 6th April. I say bring it on!

If you would like to sponsor me in this crazy endeavour, the link is here https://www.justgiving.com/Alison-Chisnell/

5 Responses to "Highs and Lows"

I too am running a marathon on 6th April. It is getting a little too close for comfort. I recognise what you mean about good runs and bad runs. I suspect it is through surviving the bad ones that we will have the strength and resilience to get through 26 and that extra bit miles come the 6th April. On the day there will be spells when we are running well and others when it’s a bit tougher but we will have experienced that in training so know we just have to keep going. My philosophy is going to be to keep smiling cos if I keep putting one foot in front of the other I know I will eventually cross that finish line Hope rest if training goes well Stick in and keep smiling πŸ˜ƒ

Thanks so much Rhona – wise words, for sure. I think you’re right that we have to experience bad runs in training to build resilience and mental strength for the day, as well as the confidence of knowing how to deal with them. Wishing you lots of luck with your marathon adventure too πŸ™‚

Yeah! This is strength training for when it gets hard in a race. Maybe you’ll never need to flex that muscle, but to know you can make it through a tough day gives you confidence you can do it again, I reckon. Glad Sunday went better. I’m sure some sunshine didn’t hurt. Eat well and have some vitamin D. xx

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