It’s been 6 week and 2 days since the Nocturnal Ultra Marathon at Foxlake. Since then I have spent a lot of time feeling shit about myself. How’s that for a blog opener eh.

I am not someone who likes to fail. And for me, because I didn’t achieve my Plan ‘A’ that night I believed I had failed, that I had let myself down.

In the 6 weeks and 2 days since that night I haven’t really done much running, and in fact over the last few weeks I have barely done any training. Granted my life has been slightly mental since the week before Christmas and when something has to give at the minute then training is the thing that gives. I have justified this with my age old “Well, I’m happy so it’s fine” line but deep down, I was still in a post race slump, I didn’t want to train. This normally happens to me after a race so it’s something I’m used to, it just doesn’t normally last this long and I have started to have some serious worries about if I would be able to get myself back into things. Knowing what I should do versus actually doing those things can vary significantly for me, and I imagine is fairly typical for everyone in the world. We’re only human after all.

I was in the car today driving towards the Sick Kids so #1 could get an X-Ray on her thumb (not broken thank the lord) and I was having a mental conversation with myself*.

I was thinking about running and the chat sort of went like this;

“Hmm suppose I’m going to have to run myself this week and see what’s what”

“Ugh why would you wanna do that, avoid it. Think of an excuse”

“Well I can’t avoid running forever, and sitting at 10 min/miles isn’t helping anything”

“Yeah but the last time you tried to run seriously you only managed 7x 5km laps”

…wait for it…

…lightbulb moment…

“I ran 7x 5km laps. Thats 35km. That’s nearly 22 miles”

I RAN 7X 5KM LAPS. 7 BLOODY 5KM LAPS. ME. I DID THAT. I am officially an idiot. 

What in the name of anything that is holy have I been feeling shit about?!

Ok granted, I didn’t run the furthest that night, or the fastest. I didn’t achieve my Plan ‘A’ BUT I ran a really long way. A distance that a year ago I couldn’t do comfortably. And I woke up the next day and felt fine, which just shows how far I’ve come since #pelvisgate in June.

If anyone else had run 7 laps that night I would be hugged them and told them what an amazing job they had done. It was cold, it was dark, it was sometimes a lonely venture. ANY amount of laps was bloody amazing.

All I’ve done for the last 6 weeks is beat myself up over a failing that doesn’t exist. I’ve avoided training whilst worrying about the Spartan Double header I have coming up in April. I’ve not run but have worried about dragging my Christmas filled rear up the hills of Innerleithen at Deerstalker in March. I’ve sat on my sofa and eaten a LOT of Oreos whilst telling myself that I’ll never have abs again but I’m actually not arsed.

Let me tell you something; I.AM.ARSED. Every single one of us is arsed about something. And it’s normally hidden behind “Well I’m not really all that bothered”.

I AM arsed about abs. I AM arsed about doing well at Spartan and Deerstalker and Europes Toughest Mudder and all the other races I have signed up for this year. I AM arsed about training, and also Oreos.

But I am also my own worst enemy. I am also a perfectionist. I am also very good at sabotaging my mental state so that I think I am not arsed about any of the above.

Because, it is easy to not be arsed isn’t it? If someone asks you if you’ve run this week it’s dead easy to say “Nah but I’ve not had time”. It’s harder to say “Well actually yes but it wasn’t very fast because I’ve got a tight hip flexor and I’m worried its something niggly that’s come back again”.

If someone says “Oh how’s the food plan going?” It’s easier to say “Well actually I ended up on a hospital dash today and forgot to take the prepped food so grabbed a McDonalds on the way home” (Ps I did that today. Not sorry.**)

So basically I’m human.

And I am finally, finally in my little bubble of post Nocturnal smugness. Because it was a bloody awesome race and I had the best time.

Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 8.15.20 PM
Hanging out with the Foxlake Marshals on the last lap

So here’s a bit of advice from the rational part of my brain;

Whether you ran 10 miles last week or 1. Whether you walked 5 miles or only made one yoga class. Whether you lost weight at the first post new year weigh-in or you gained 5lbs – WELL DONE. There was a time when you didn’t run 10 miles, there was a time when you didn’t even know what yoga was and you had never considered going to an actual diet group. So think about that for a minute. You might not be where you want to be, you might have wobbled a bit and are worried about getting back on track, you might be a long long way from your goal, but you are closer than you were before you started.

I had a PT client this morning and I was teaching them cleans and again I had a bit of a moment. There was a time I didn’t even know what a clean and press was. Couldn’t have told you what one looked like or what it entailed. And now I’m teaching it to people. The Clean and Press won’t define my career but it’s a clear indication that progress has been made, and whilst I might not wake up every day and feel like I have a clear direction (also a bone of contention for my inner perfectionist) I definitely have it more figured out than when I had no job and no idea of what I wanted to do when I ‘grew up’ (circa 2012).

So. Whatever you achieved today, whether it was what you set out to do or not – great job.

Now I’m going back to my Oreos and dreams of abs.

*Please tell me I’m not the only one who does this.

**Little bit sorry.