Hello my friends!
I’m not having the best of evenings today, or to be fair, the best of weeks.
Everything that possibly could go wrong at the moment pretty much has.
I’ve been mad busy at work – not only with massive projects that keep getting delayed (and costing £££), but also because my boss is away this week, both things which are really stressing me out.
I still haven’t been able to catch up with ANYTHING when it comes to my uni work, despite having tried my best… It’s like my brain switches off after 10-11 hours of sitting by the computer and refuses to take in any more information.
I was hoping that at least running would give me some kind of boost or that it would revive me so I could sit down and get some stuff done tonight.
But no, I might have felt like the queen of the world on Sunday / Monday, however it’s pretty safe to say Im not any more.
Because I haven’t been able to keep up with the training plan properly due to injuries and being ill, I really felt like I had to get my 5 miles in tonight, especially since I don’t have that many runs left before Berlin. And after having done 12.5 miles with Candice I really thought I had cracked it, that after Sunday I could actually count myself as a runner and not just a pretend one that I have been feeling like at times.
I didn’t want to go out tonight due to my stomach being bloated, but since running has helped getting rid of the pain in the past, I figured I could easily do 5 miles and come back refreshed & painless. Most people I know seem to be running all sorts of crazy miles with ease and speed, so surely I should be able to do 5 miles with ease even if I don’t have the speed.
I remember the feeling I had when I did my first ever run and came to 1 mile and was so out of breath that I panicked because I didnt think I would be able to get oxygen down me ever again. That was the feeling I had about 6-7 times tonight, plus the pain in my leg and hand from my fall at RDC on Tuesday.
I know people say that you have bad runs, and yes that is true, but surely if one has trained enough and is fit enough, what happened to me tonight should not happen, especially not for a distance like 5 miles?! (that is meant to be my “short run” at this point of my training plan).
With 9 days to go until I have to do 13.1 miles this was not what I wanted or expected to feel.
On Sunday I felt like a runner, tonight I feel like a fake again and it sucks.
And yes it is just as much about the journey as it is about crossing the finish line.
And yes I am probably being too hard on myself, one bad run yeah?
Probably, hopefully (!!), but that doesnt change the way I feel.
I am gutted. I am gutted because I thought I was over this whole phase of feeling shit & disappointed and feeling like I can’t run.
I have spent and sacrificed so much of my time on training / running, time that I could have spent on so many other things, like my MA, my loved ones, my work, my DJing and so on.
And whilst I appreciate and cherish all the amazing things that this journey has given me, I feel like I am back on square one and I don’t even know how I ended up here! It doesn’t make any sense.
I really hope it’s just a bad run and that I can shake off these feelings of doubt and not being good enough – it shouldn’t be hitting me this hard by now!
Actually no – I kind of feel like it shouldn’t be hitting me at all by this point, I should be over it.
Normally being me I would say to try harder, but at this point I really feel like I have given this everything I have plus more.
Maybe I’m just scared. Or maybe it’s just nerves. Or maybe I’m just exhausted.
Or maybe I just need to shut up.
SO TODAY I DECIDED TO DO DA TING!
Despite the fact that this weekend did not go the way I had planned AT ALL!
Actually, it started with Friday and me missing out on my 5 mile run in the morning…
I was still a bit fragile on Thursday evening from my fastest ever run on Wednesday night, so I decided to do my 5 miles the following morning, but exhaustion got the best of me and I decided to sleep not run.
I figured the Spartan session in the evening would make up for it, but no amount of cross-training will bag me those miles I so desperately need for Berlin! So despite having an amazing session with Chaka Bars & the crew, I was feeling a bit guilty for missing out on my run.
For the weekend I had nothing else planned apart from studying, recording my radio show and making an attempt to run 10 miles.
Safe to say nothing went as planned! DOES IT EVER!?
I allowed myself to have a lie in on saturday morning, nowadays that means sleeping to 09:30am the very latest, and I made a fabulous weekend breakfast to celebrate life and how far I have come on this long journey without giving up.
After my posh breakfast the plan was to quickly record my new Little Miss Sunshiine show and seriously get cracking with my university work because I am so behind on writing & publishing my assignments that I feel ashamed and incredibly guilty.
But somehow I managed to completely lose track of time and all of the sudden it was past 10pm and I had to go to bed to prepare for my long run with Candice in the morning.
I didn’t have any dinner or anything, I literally played music for about 8 hours straight! (Damn! I can’t even remember the last time I had a Saturday all for myself where I just played records and enjoyed my own company! That’s kind of sad in a way…)
Anyway, I got up at about 6am today ready to go!
I wore the clothes I am planning on wearing on race day, I ate the food I think I will eat if its available on race day, I did the active stretches for my legs and knees, hell I even did a very light jog before doing the run so I would warm up – all so I can go through my race day routine as good as possible.
I met up with Candice at Crystal Palace. I was beyond excited to run with her but also very nervous at the same time. The sun was shining, I had prepared the most amazing playlist to run to and I was secretly praying that my legs would be able to carry me 10 miles.
We ran from Crystal Palace to Brixton to Vauxhall across Vauxhall Bridge past Lambeth Bridge to Westminster past Waterloo past Blackfriars across Millennium Bridge past London Bridge past Tower Bridge past Bermondsey and past Rotherhithe all the way to Canada Water.
12.5 MILES BABY!!! And for those of you who don’t know what that is… 20.1KM BABY!!!
It’s a shame my Nike+ wasn’t 100% spot on with the GPS on the map but here is an illustration of what we ran:
I’m not going to lie – it wasn’t a stroll in the park!
I was holding up ok until about 10 miles in and then my legs started to go a bit funny, then my ‘bad knee’ started to misbehave and towards the end I had an incredibly painful pressure thing happening in my right ear (no idea what that was!?!?!) but I knew I had to carry on for two main reasons:
1. I had doubted myself and my ability to do something like this since before I even signed up to do the Berlin half marathon. So I desperately needed these 12.5 miles in the bag to assure and reassure myself that I do have it in me, that I am a runner and that I can overcome and accomplish anything if I really want to. And today really ended up being the confidence boost I needed – not just when it comes to the running but when it comes to life in general too.
2. I couldn’t be “the weak link” today because I felt like I needed to lift our running spirits if we were going make it alive – something was up with Candice and I wasn’t sure what it was but I knew I had to do something to get her through those miles somehow.
I’m sure I slightly annoyed her a couple of times, including when I got the tourists outside houses of parliament to cheer her on so she would start running when she had stopped or when I shouted at the big crowd on millennium bridge asking them to tell her off for being lazy. I sang, I danced, I tried to motivate and be happy and be serious and literally do anything in my power to keep her going, and by doing so, keeping myself going.
You see, Candice is an incredible person and I have so much respect and love for her that simple words are not enough to express how I truly feel about her. Im going to be honest here, I don’t know her that well, but if I had a boat and I could only take 5 people with me to an island, she would be amongst those 5.
Me and her are very different yet very very similar. I am so happy that I could share my great accomplishment with her today because she is one of the people that have really motivated me throughout this whole experience and journey, even if that might have been unintentional from her side.
I know that this running thing has changed both of our lives for the better (even through the shitty & horrible parts of it all) and to think that this is just the beginning of an incredible journey and adventure makes me very excited and scared at the same time.
I just hope that me and her will be able to share days like today many times in the future, because these are the ones that build character as well as friendships.