6 Things That I Learned Through Stopping Running That Helped Me Get Started Again.
- I realised that momentum is everything – Once you stop running it’s really fucking hard to get back into the way of it. For once I truly understood how difficult it is for people trying to get into running in the first place. When you lose your momentum then it’s very scary. The longer you leave it the harder it becomes to get back to where you were. For me it was pretty fucking embarrassing as I’d just published a book about running but I wasn’t running at all. I’d tried to kickstart my running again and I’d maybe have one or two good weeks and then I’d just crumble and give up after I failed to reach the silly targets I was setting for myself (usually 200 miles per month, ha).
- I learned that I don’t listen to my body or my mind enough – In 2014 I’d moved to London, wrote the book, setup my own company, ran the 100k, did 4 marathons and by the end my brain was seriously fucked up. I’d tried to do too much in such a short period of time and I was now paying the price with full scale psychological burnout. I needed to go easy and give myself space to recover. I knew inside that I wanted to get back to running but something had to change and it was the puritanical Protestant misery I’d feel if I was enduring a bad run and not meeting my ‘goals’, ‘targets’ or ‘schedule’. Fuck that. There’s plenty of time for schedules (and misery) when I’m smouldering in Hell (or marriage).
- I learned that I had to rediscover my motives for running – I thought back to the 100k and the freedom I felt running through the North Downs with no time pressure. It was amazing. I wanted to run for distance. The longer I could stay out of the house in London, then the less chance there is that I’d get myself into any trouble. I cut out the bullshit too. Like the concept of ‘junk miles’. I went on several long walks in February and March and they made me feel so much better within myself. I thought back to the truly fucking absurd notion of ‘junk miles’ and how I wanted to repeatedly punch the person in the face who invented that term. Getting outside for a run always gave me such a lift and when you’re feeling really low that can be the difference between a productive day or spending 20 hours in bed. So fuck your junk miles right up your hole.
- I needed to find consistency.- I started at a lower base and used the Strava MTS monthly 200km challenge to help me through. I stopped worrying about pace and concentrated solely on racking up the kilometres. The support of everyone on my Strava friends list has been invaluable in getting back on track and it’s been a lot of fun. Now I’m wondering just how far I can go. Why can’t I eventually run 500km in a month? What’s stopping me?
- I needed a new perspective on running – I started treating the world outside as the magical 3D treadmill that I always wanted when I first started running in the gym. I acknowledge the outdoor world. I chase squirrels but they always win. One day I will chase a sick squirrel, catch it and accidentally step on it’s head. And that will be the end of the squirrel and my running.
- I decided to please myself and only myself with my running – “Why are you running slower? Why aren’t you running half marathons? Why no speed work? Why no schedules? Why are you not smiling more?” WHY DON’T YOU SWALLOW MY HAIRY IRISH TAIL AND FUCK OFF. I RUN BECAUSE I WANT TO RUN. IF IT TAKES ME 78 FUCKING MINUTES TO RUN A MILE THEN I’LL TAKE THAT OVER SITTING ON MY ARSE AND EATING FUCKING JAFFA CAKES LIKE A SAD CUNT. It’s my life. I will do what I want with the rest of it. I celebrate running even slower now and I run by HAPPINESS. That’s right you ‘go hard or go home’ fucking zealots. I’m enjoying running. So work my shaft hard until it’s dry. And then go home and actually think about #what #you #fucking #shit #out #of #your #thick #moronic #skulls #for #fucking #once. YOLO. There’s a raven out there with an itchy tit with your name on it. Go get it SPORT.
Thanks everyone. I needed that.