Thursday 27th June 2019 (3.18pm)
On my run today I asked myself many times why on earth do I decide to do these stupid things? The answer is always there and it is simple. I need to do it mentally, I need a challenge, a focus and an event to look forward to.
I knew as I left the house this morning and started running into a manic headwind it was going to be a tough run. I can usually get a sense on how things will go in the first 5 minutes, and today it was no different. Feeling tired with heavy legs did not stand me in good stead for the 3ish hours or 16-18 miles which I wanted to do.
There were many times where I could have just turned around and called it a day but I would not allow myself to give in to those thoughts that would have been detrimental for me. My next event, The Wales marathon is only 9 days away and I did not want to leave my final long run any longer.
My head was away with the fairies as I spun things around in my mind. I have a lot going on at the moment. I have a meeting next week with work to discuss where we go from here, though the same conclusions apply that I am medically unfit for work as documented by GP and psychiatrists. Returning to the police would be detrimental to my health, and life. I have had all the treatment available to me and for any chance of some sort of recovery of this phobic anxiety towards the work place, there is only really one solution.
There was other stuff whizzing around my head and not even my iTunes playlist could distract me today. I also found that I was watch watching as if every time I looked down at my Garmin 3 miles would have miraculously appeared. No such luck.
I had an idea of the route I wanted to take but I would change this along the way depending on how I felt. I took some of the trails which were part of the Vale ultra marathon which I did in April. It was good to be back on the coastal path and for maybe a few minutes I enjoyed myself.
I ran out of my Tailwind drink at 14 miles, just as I was approaching home but I knew that I could not stop. My head and my legs argued and as always the head came out on top. I chucked another 2.5 miles to finish quite conveniently outside a coffee shop on Barry Island. Here I slugged down a tin of diet coke and walked the rest of the way home (thankfully not far).
It was Shakira who said that the hips don’t lie and I couldn’t agree more as mine are feeling a tad angry with me at the moment. Knees held up ok thankfully but I must have looked a bit strange on my walk with Olly earlier as I waddled along.
I am experienced enough to know that not every run will go my way. It won’t always be easy but the runs where I really have to dig deep to find that extra energy and motivation from somewhere are the ones that make me stronger. They are the runs which I know I could have easily bottled for an extra hour or two in bed. They are the runs which you remember when you collect that medal at the end of an event.
When I look back on the 12 months of training which I did for Ironman, it is the sessions which I did not want to do that have stayed with me. The sessions in the freezing cold winter where I had to do hill sprints, swim 2800m in a cold pool, or spend 90 minutes on the Wattbike, it is those sessions that got me over the finish line. I cannot remember the ‘so called easy ones’.
I could easily say that today was a rubbish run, but it wasn’t. I did it and I am proud of that.
No matter how rubbish you think your training session was, you always feel better afterwards.
On a happy note, I have now booked my hotel in New York and I am looking forward to reading this book.